The police in West Bengal posted a rare status update on Twitter on Friday as a political row triggered by the horrific murder of a family of three in Murshidabad scaled up following the death of a priest in in the Nadia district. Allegations of political violence have been flying in the charged build-up to the Bengal assembly polls in 2021 ever since the BJP snatched 16 seats from the Trinamool in parliamentary polls earlier this year.

Just two days after a 35-year-old school teacher, his pregnant wife and their six-year-old son were hacked to death in their home in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district, the body of a 42-year-old priest who had been missing since Monday, was found dead on the banks of a river in Nadia on Thursday.

Soon after his body was found, local BJP MP Jagannath Sarkar said he was a party worker and was killed because of his political links. The statement was supported by Union Minister Babul Supriyo.

With the BJP stepping up allegations of escalating political violence, West Bengal Police issued a clarification, saying the murders in Murshidabad had “nothing to do with politics”.

The bodies of Bandhu Prakash Pal, a 35-year-old primary school teacher, his wife Beauty, 30, and young son Arya were found in different parts of their blood-splattered home in Jiaganj, about 210 km from Kolkata, around noon on the day Vijayadashami and Dussehra were being celebrated. The woman was reported to be pregnant.

Babul Supriyo joined several BJP leaders to condemn the incident, who said Bandhu Pal had recently listed with the party’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and linked it with the priest’s death in Nadia.

“Supriyo Banerjee, a Hindu priest and BJP worker from Nadia was brutally murdered. Eight people have now been killed in just the last 4days. Law & Order in WB is a sad joke now. Why are the so-called liberals mute spectators to these gruesome murders? People of Bengal will take revenge~CHECK~ Wait&Watch,” the union minister had said.

Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar had also stepped into the row. He said Thursday evening that there must be no cover-up in the investigation into the case and it “cannot be brushed under the carpet”. He also expressed dismay over the “silence” of the Mamata Banerjee government.

Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress retorted that the Governor is “crossing constitutional Laxman Rekhas” and suggested he keep an eye on crimes in Tripura, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh instead.

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