- Dulal Kumar had left home last evening and never returned
- His body was found hanging from an electric tower this morning
- Earlier this week, a 20-year-old BJP worker was found hanging from a tree
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered the state's highest probe agency, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), to investigate both the deaths -- of Dulal Kumar and Trilochan Mahato, and has transferred Purulia Superintendent of Police Joy Biswas. He has been replaced by Akash Magharia.
But the BJP has demanded a CBI inquiry, calling the deaths "political murders", and has called a 12-hour bandh today.
Both men were residents of separate villages but in the same police station area.
BJP workers organised a rally in Kolkata this evening, where slogans were raised and an effigy of Mamata Banerjee was burnt.
Dulal was missing since 8 last night. He had gone out on his motorcycle, his family said. When he didn't return home, they got worried and searched for him in the area.
"We started looking for him around 9 pm. When I called on his mobile phone, he picked up and disconnected the call," Rupchand Kumar, Dulal's cousin, said.
They also informed the police who found his motorcycle in the nearby fields. Around 5.45 this morning, his body was found hanging from a high tension electric tower. As news of his death spread, villagers, his family, and BJP workers rushed to the spot.
BJP leader Rahul Sinha said Dulal Kumar was not just a BJP supporter, but a full-time party worker who held a post in the panchayat.
Party supporters refused to allow police to bring the body down. Villagers surrounded the cops and Deputy Superintendent of Police Atul Chatterjee's vehicle was also ransacked. BJP supporters also blocked the Balrampur-Baghmundi road in protest for several hours.
TMC leader Derek O'Brien demanded a thorough probe into the incident. "We strongly condemn this despicable killing. All angles must be probed.The perpetrators of this heinous act must be punished. What role did Jharkhand border have to play? What elements of Bajrang Dal, Maoist or BJP involved. Let the truth be found out through proper investigation," he tweeted.
On Wednesday, 20-year-old Trilochan Mahato, a BJP worker, was found hanging by a nylon rope from a tree near his home in village Supurdih in Purulia's Balarampur block. The party claimes it was a political murder linked to the recent civic polls in the state that turned violent.
Written on the back and front of his white T-Shirt was a chilling message, repeated in a note found on a piece of paper left at his feet dangling just inches from the ground.
"This is for doing BJP politics from age 18. Been trying to kill you since the vote. Failed. Today you are dead," it read.
BJP president Amit Shah tweeted he was "deeply hurt by the brutal killing of our young karyakarta.""A young life full of possibilities was brutally taken out under state's patronage. He was hanged on a tree just because his ideology differed from that of state sponsored goons," he said.
A day before Trilochan Mahato's death, Trinamool lawmaker and Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee had told a public meeting that he would make Purulia a "opposition-free" district.
He had later claimed Trilochan was the victim of rivalry between the Bajrang Dal and BJP, a charge repeated by Shrishti Dhar Mahato, a senior Trinamool leader from Purulia.
In Purulia, the TMC and the BJP had a close fight in the gram panchayats winning 839 and 645 seats respectively. Out of the 38 zilla parishad seats, the TMC had won 26 seats and BJP nine seats.