Ever since the Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) retained power in West Bengal, a macabre wave of violence has swept the state, with deaths of dissidents and opponents becoming a routine affair. Now, Devasish Acharya, the man who slapped TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee in 2015, has been found dead under mysterious circumstances in West Bengal.
On Thursday morning, that is, on June 17, Acharya was left at the Tamluk district hospital in Midnapore in a grievously injured condition. According to hospital records, Acharya was brought to the hospital in the wee hours of Thursday by some unknown men, who left soon after.
However, Acharya could not fight his worsening condition and he soon died in the afternoon. His family was shocked to know about the condition of Acharya and alleged that he had been murdered.
The BJP leadership in the state has questioned the circumstances that led to the death of Devasish. It is worth noting that Acharya had joined the saffron party in 2020.
Police in its preliminary investigation said that Acharya had gone out with two of his friends on June 16 evening. The three men rode motorbikes when they stopped at a tea stall near the Sonapetya Toll Plaza.
Devasish reportedly received a phone call when he left his friends at the tea stall. Police are now probing where Devasish went from the tea stall and whom did he meet.
Devasish Acharya had slapped Abhishek Banerjee at a political meeting in January 2015
Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Abhishek Banerjee was slapped and punched by Devasish at a public meeting in West Bengal’s East Midnapore district in January 2015.
With minutes of hitting Abhishek Banerjee, the Trinamool leaders and supporters on the dais indulged in a free-for-all attack against Devasish. He was severely injured in the assault and was later admitted at a district hospital in East Midnapore.
The TMC had then justified the assault against Acharya saying that the youth was “still alive”.
“The thrashing was a reaction to the condemnable incident (slapping) and could have been worse. Not everyone comes to politics from Bharat Sevasram Sangha or Ramakrishna Mission. Nothing big happened and the youth is alive. What happened is nothing”, said Subrata Mukherjee, vice president of Trinamool Congress and state panchayat minister.
The normalisation of using violence against political opponents in West Bengal
Devasish’s death reflects the normalisation of using violence by TMC goons against their political opponents. Post-poll violence has become a leitmotif of news emerging out of Bengal following the declaration of results. Umpteen number of violence against political opponents have been reported from the state.
In an overwhelming number of such incidents, the victims have been BJP supporters and workers while the accused were said to be the supporters of the TMC party. More than 24 BJP workers lost their lives in just one month of the new government in West Bengal. It has also been reported that women belonging to the opposition camp has been subjected to sexual violence in West Bengal.
The violence unleashed against them forced hundreds of BJP party workers and supporters to flee their villages along with their families. They crossed over to Assam where they were provided temporary shelter under supervision by minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. It is not just the BJP but even CPI(M) which has accused the TMC of killing its workers. Reports of attacks on BSF jawans have also emerged in the media.