On Saturday (July 4), the police arrested two more accused involved in the gruesome murder of BJP worker Avijit Sarkar in the Narkeldanga area of Kolkata. Sarkar was killed shortly after the results of West Bengal Vidhan Sabha polls were announced on May 2.
As per reports, the two accused have been identified as 26-year-old Sanjay Dey and 25-year-old Avijit Dey. The duo was arrested from their relative’s residence in Chandannagar in the Hooghly district. They were produced before a local court yesterday. While speaking about the matter, Joint Commissioner (Kolkata police) Murlidhar Sharma informed, “Two more FIR named accused persons have been arrested. With these, a total of seven out of eight people named in the FIR have been arrested.”
The said arrests were made only after a 5-Judge Bench of Calcutta High Court observed that the West Bengal government failed to investigate complaints of post-poll violence. On Thursday (July 22), the Court stated, “The proceedings have become adversarial because the state has failed to properly investigate.” Earlier, the police had arrested 5 other accused, namely, Sufal Das (alias Ruidas), Sanjay Das (Alias Rana), Sanjat Samanta, Samir Samanta, and one other accused.
NHRC report and observations by Calcutta High Court
According to ABP Ananda, the case was initially probed by the Narkeldanga police station. Later, it was transferred to the Detective Department of the Kolkata police following public outrage. The brutal murder of Avijit Sarkar featured prominently in the report submitted by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on July 13 before the Calcutta High Court. NHRC condemned the ‘pernicious politico-bureaucratic-criminal nexus’, demanded a CBI investigation, and called for conducting the trial outside West Bengal.
While noting that only 3% of the accused in West Bengal post-poll violence were behind bars, NHRC stated, “The situation in the state of West Bengal is a manifestation of the law of ruler, instead of rule of law…This was retributive violence by supporters of the ruling party against supporters of the main opposition party.” Earlier on July 2, the Calcutta High Court ordered a second autopsy of the deceased BJP worker and asked the report to be submitted within a week’s time. The development came after a complaint by his brother Biswajit Sarkar, who alleged that Avijit’s corpse was destroyed by maggots in the morgue.
The gruesome murder of Avijit Sarkar
On May 2, BJP worker Avijit Sarkar took to Facebook to narrate the harrowing tale of violence that he was subjected to by the TMC goons. The video was uploaded just hours before he was lynched to death by the miscreants. “I don’t know how to come live (on Facebook). They hurled bombs right in front of my eyes and vandalised my house and the party office. My only mistake is that I am a BJP worker.,” he recounted.
Pointing towards his dog, he lamented, “I had brought her from Sealdah. She had given birth to some puppies. They slaughtered the puppies mercilessly.” The BJP worker broke down into tears. He said that the attack took place in Ward no. 30 in the Beleghata neighbourhood in Kolkata under the supervision of TMC leaders Paresh Paul and Swapan Samandar. Sarkar recounted that his puppies were also hacked to death by the accused.
The victim, an office-bearer of the Bhartiya Mazdoor Trade Union Council, had repsonded to a knock at his door. Avijit Sarkar was then dragged outside, brutally assaulted, and strangled with a cable TV wire. His dead body was later discovered at some distance from his house.