Bhatar (Burdwan), Jan. 6: A BJP leader died here today after he was found ablaze tied to a lamp-post, triggering a flurry of allegations between his party and the CPM.
Eyewitnesses said they saw flames engulfing a screaming Narnarayan Naskar, the BJP president of Palar block and a farmer, near a pump house.
“My mother first saw the flames and called me. I ran to the spot and poured water on the burning man and tore the sweater off him,” said Babulal Majhi, who lives nearby.
Fifty-year-old Naskar was taken to Burdwan Medical College Hospital, about 30 km away, where he was declared dead.
“Whether the man was murdered cannot be established till we get the post-mortem report,” said Banibrata Basu, deputy inspector-general of police (Burdwan range).
Besides the charred remains of Naskar’s clothes and hay around the base of the lamp-post, an empty bottle of acid was found at the spot.
Basu confirmed that Babulal and his mother Saraswati were the first to spot Naskar. “The person definitely died from burns, but we have no evidence that he was tied to the lamp-post,” he said.
But the BJP alleged that Naskar was murdered at the behest of the CPM. Naskar was an active member of both the RSS and the VHP, villagers said.
But CPM MLA Subhas Mondol said: “He probably killed himself due to some conflict in the family, our party is not so barbaric as to burn someone alive.”
Rubbishing the suicide theory, Naskar’s wife Triloka said: “He always said that he wanted to die a natural death so that his soul would gain emancipation. How can a deeply religious man like him take his own life' He was murdered.”