A BJP MLA in West Bengal was found dead in an open verandah outside a shop early this morning in North Dinajpur district, about 454 km from capital Kolkata, triggering allegations from the BJP that he was killed. Bengal Police has said that a suicide note was found in the politician's pocket.
The market where MLA Debendra Nath Ray was found hanging is about one kilometre away from his home. This morning, local residents spotted his hanging body and called the police.
"Today morning the dead body of MLA Hemtabad, Debendra Nath Roy was detected hanging from the verandah ceiling of a mobile shop at Balia, Deben More, Raigunj, Uttar Dinajpur (sic)," Bengal Police wrote in a series of tweets.
"A suicide note is recovered from the shirt pocket of the deceased. Two persons have been named in the note as responsible for his death (sic)," the police wrote.
A suicide note is recovered from the shirt pocket of the deceased. Two persons have been named in the note as responsible for his death...(2/3)— West Bengal Police (@WBPolice) July 13, 2020
"All necessary steps of investigation such as use of tracker dog, visit of forensic experts are being taken. PM is yet to be done. People are requested not to jump on speculative, biased and judgmental conclusions and to wait for the investigation to complete (sic)," Bengal Police tweeted.
At least one member of his family has claimed that some people had come to the house at 1 am and called him away. The MLA's family has demanded a probe into his death. "The people who came and called him away were some miscreants who must have killed him. He was a sitting MLA. The CBI must probe his death," Mr Ray's nephew Girish Chandra Ray said.
BJP chief JP Nadda was among those who tweeted on the MLA's death. Party leader Rahul Sinha demanded a CBI probe into the MLA's death.
The suspected heinous killing of Debendra Nath Ray, BJP MLA from Hemtabad in West Bengal, is extremely shocking and deplorable. This speaks of the Gunda Raj & failure of law and order in the Mamta govt. People will not forgive such a govt in the future. We strongly condemn this.— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) July 13, 2020
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has demanded an impartial probe into the death of Mr Ray. "Political violence and vendetta @MamataOfficial shows no signs of abating. Death of Debendra Nath Roy, Hemtabad MLA-Uttar Dinajpur District, raises serious issues including allegations of murder. Need for a thorough, impartial probe to unravel the truth and blunt political violence," Governor Dhankhar said in a tweet.
Refuting the BJP's allegations, senior Trinamool Congress leader and district president Kanailal Agarwal, said it was for the police to investigate the cause of Mr Ray's death. "It is for the police to decide the cause of his death. Whether he committed suicide or there is something else... is for the law to decide. I won't comment on it," Mr Agarwal was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Debendra Nath Ray had contested and won the Hemtabad assembly segment - a reserved seat for Scheduled Castes - on a CPM ticket backed by the Congress in 2016 but had switched over to the BJP last year after the Lok Sabha election.
Hemtabad in is North Dinajpur district.
(With inputs from PTI)
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