Bengal BJP worker 'beaten to death' during inter-club clash; BJP calls bandh

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(Eds: Updating with fresh development) Cooch Behar (WB), Nov 18 (PTI) A local BJP leader was allegedly beaten to death during a clash between members of two community clubs in West Bengal's Cooch Behar district on Wednesday, his family said.

The incident took place during the immersion of idols of Goddess Kali in Tufanganj area.

The BJP alleged that the Trinamool Congress was behind the incident, and called a 12-hour bandh in Tufanganj on Thursday.

The TMC, however, denied the charge.

BJP booth secretary Kalachand Karmakar (55) attempted to pacify the clashing members of the two clubs, during which he also got beaten up. He collapsed on the ground and was declared brought dead when taken to a hospital, a senior police officer said.

One person has been arrested and an investigation is underway, he said.

Karmakar's wife alleged he was beaten with bamboo staffs.

The district unit of the BJP, however, blamed the TMC for the killing.

'As the TMC has lost its ground in Coochbehar district, it is systematically targeting the BJP workers,' local party leader Sourav Das said.

Senior TMC leader and North Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh, however, dismissed the allegations as baseless.

'The incident took place due to a local dispute. The police are investigating it. The BJP is trying to politicise the matter,' he said.

The BJPs West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh alleged that Karmakar 'was brutally murdered by PoliticalTerrorists of TMC in Cooch Behar. His only crime? He was an active worker of BJP'. PTI PNT NN NN