Kin observe 1st anniversary of Bogtui massacre at BJP event | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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Kin observe 1st anniversary of Bogtui massacre at BJP event

Mar 22, 2023 02:03 PM IST

Ten people were killed in March last year at Bogtui in West Bengal’s Birbhum in retaliation to the murder of a local functionary of the ruling Trinamool Congress

Relatives of the 10 people, who were killed in March last year at Bogtui in West Bengal’s Birbhum in retaliation to the murder of a local functionary of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), observed the first anniversary of the massacre at a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) event.

The massacre scene. (PTI)
The massacre scene. (PTI)

The TMC also paid homage to the victims of the massacre on Tuesday but the relatives refused to meet Asish Banerjee, its local legislator, alleging he did not visit them even once after ruling party workers allegedly went on the killing spree.

“We are grateful that BJP leaders have come here to express their sympathy. We demand punishment for those who destroyed our families,” said Mihilal Sheikh, who lost his wife, daughter mother, and other four relatives, told a gathering at a memorial built at the scene of the massacre.

Suvendu Adhikari, the leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, led the homage to the 10 victims including nine women. “These people never voted for the BJP. They always supported the TMC. In the Nandigram assembly polls, too, I could defeat Mamata Banerjee only because Hindus voted for me. She got all the Muslim votes. We have not come here because of electoral politics,” said Adhikari. He added he wanted to share the pain.

Banerjee won a by-poll to continue as the chief minister after her defeat in Nandigram.

Asish Banerjee and other top TMC leaders from Birbhum visited Bogtui hours before Adhikari’s arrival. He denied claims that the relatives refused to meet him. “I talked to some of them but I stayed away from the gathering around the memorial,” Banerjee said.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Md Salim also led a silent procession at Bogtui but the families of the 10 stayed away.

Mamata Banerjee visited Bogtui 72 hours after the massacre and said the victims were TMC supporters while announcing compensation and government jobs for their kin. Mihilal Sheikh, who joined Adhikari in a procession on Tuesday, was also given a job.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the probe into the massacre on the Calcutta high court orders in March last year. The agency submitted the charge sheet in the case in June last year saying Bhadu Sheikh’s murder was the fallout of rivalry over dubious land deals, illegal businesses, and share in extortion money.

Anarul Hossain, a former local TMC functionary, allegedly ordered the massacre and supervised it while keeping the police away, the charge sheet said. Hossain is among over 20 people arrested in the case.

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