Kolkata, July 6 (IANS) A BJP activist died allegedly after being beaten up by a group of men for chanting "Jai Shree Ram" in West Bengal's Nadia district, party sources said on Saturday.
Krishna Debnath, the saffron party activist from Swarupnagar in Nadia district's Nabadwip, was rushed to a local hospital after family members found him lying by the road side on Friday evening.
He was later shifted to Kolkata's NRS Medical College and Hospital, where he was declared dead.
The local BJP leadership accused Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporters of killing Debnath and sat blocking a road in Nabadwip with his body for nearly an hour on Saturday morning.
"He was beaten up by the Trinamool Congress goons for chanting the name of Ram. Trinamool is resorting to such brutality to intimidate our workers. We blocked the road because police has not taken any actions against the accused persons yet," said a BJP leader from Nabadwip.
Asked about the incident, state BJP President Dilip Ghosh said the TMC was beating up BJP workers for chanting "Jai Shree Ram" in West Bengal, while the police was throwing them into jail.
"The TMC claims that people are being lynched across the country for not chanting 'Jai Shree Ram'. But the truth is that in West Bengal people are being attacked, lynched and put behind bars for chanting 'Jai Shree Ram'," Ghosh alleged.
"Chanting the name of Ram is not banned in India. Trinamool says they have no problems in accepting Lord Ram. Then why can't they tolerate the 'Jai Shree Ram' chant? Why such intolerance? The more intolerant they become, the more people will chant this slogan. If they think they will be able to stop people by beating them or labelling false cases against them, they are living in a fool's paradise," he said.
The local Trinamool Congress leadership, however, refuted the claim. "There is no relation between the 'Jai Shree Ram' chant and the incident. The man was drunk and misbehaved with local woman so he was thrashed by some local residents. Trinamool has no connection with the incident. Clearly BJP is trying to politicise the matter and create a controversy," the party's Gram Panchayat chief Sirajul Sheikh said.