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BJP proposes minority probe

Calcutta, July 29: A central BJP team led by the party’s national vice-president, Balbir Punj, has recommended the National Minority Commission’s intervention in protecting minorities in Bengal in a report on the murder of a party activist in Birbhum.

The report on the murder of Sheikh Rahim, whom the state BJP has dubbed its “first martyr” since this year’s Lok Sabha elections, at the hands of suspected Trinamul Congress activists has been submitted to national BJP president Amit Shah.

“It is clear that BJP leaders are trying to shed the communal tag that Mamata Banerjee has attached to the party,” a Trinamul source said.

On June 16, the BJP team of Punj, MP Kirti Azad, party minority cell president Abdul Rashid Ansari, Bengal minder Siddharth Nath Singh and state unit chief Rahul Sinha had visited Ilambazar, where Rahim was killed.

Apart from the National Minority Commission’s intervention, the central BJP team has also recommended that the Union home ministry ask the Bengal government to probe Rahim’s murder and submit a report.

“The report has mentioned that members of the minority community are living in an atmosphere of fear in Bengal and are feeling unsafe. The National Minority Commission should intervene,” a BJP source said.

Rahim was beaten to death on June 2. Trinamul block president Zafarul Islam is among those named in the FIR, police sources said. The police are yet to take action against Zafarul.

In its report, the central BJP team has accused Trinamul of unleashing terror on party supporters in Bengal.

“The report has also recommended that BJP organisations addressing human rights issues should keep a watch on attacks on our supporters. The National Human Rights Commission too should work to provide justice to the victims,” a source said.

According to BJP sources, the situation in Bengal was discussed at a meeting that Shah held with state BJP president Sinha in Delhi today.