Bhatar (Burdwan), Jan. 7: Naranarayan Naskar, the BJP president of Palar block who was found burnt to death and tied to a post yesterday, was among the kar sevaks who pulled down Babri Masjid a decade ago.
BJP sources said Naskar was one of the three kar sevaks from the state who had climbed up the dome, to raze it.
Two others, whom the sources referred to as the Jain brothers, died in police firing, but Naskar returned safe and even showed photographs of the demolished structure to fellow villagers.
Naskar’s son, Arup, a B.Sc third-year student of Burdwan University, said his father used to receive threat calls over telephone. “We had informed the local police station about these calls. My father was supposed to go to Calcutta, but was killed before he could make the trip,” he said.
State BJP president Tathagata Roy, who visited the scene of the incident this afternoon with two other party functionaries, charged the CPM with “doing a Godhra with an eye on the panchayat polls” and demanded a judicial probe into the “ghastly murder”.
Subhas Roy, an RSS spokesman, wondered how the police could dismiss the incident as a suspected suicide when Naskar, an active RSS and VHP worker, was found ablaze and tied to a lamp-post.
A section of the BJP leaders said Naskar had been a target of “Islamic fundamentalists” for his role in the demolition brigade on December 6, 1992.
“He used to live the life of an ascetic and meditated in his room early in the morning. The miscreants might have taken advantage of this to abduct and kill him,” they said.
Angry BJP workers led by Roy blocked the Burdwan-Katwa Road and the local market and gheraoed the Bhatar police station. The party has called a districtwide bandh on Friday, demanding “immediate arrest of the murderers”. Party workers will hold protest meetings at different blocks and organise demonstrations in front of the police stations in the Bhatar sub-division on Thursday.
The police have not made much headway into the circumstances leading to Naskar’s death and only managed to seize the rope that was used to tie him to the lamp-post.
District magistrate Manoj Agarwal has asked the police to conduct a “thorough probe”, but was unwilling to say whether it was suicide or murder. He is awaiting the post-mortem report.
Additional superintendent of police Shiv Shankar Dutta went to the site today. He said Naskar’s family members have filed an FIR alleging that he was murdered. Dutta conceded that the late BJP leader did not have any criminal records.
Naskar’s wife Triloka and her neighbours said he could have saved himself if he was caught in an accidental fire. “He could have jumped into the pond in that case. But it was clear that some people had set him ablaze after tying him to the post.”
“We are only going by what the police have said,” said local CPM leaders.