Kolkata: They are the latest in the series of murdered BJP cadre mostly from the backward caste. They were murdered and hanged in Bengal’s Purulia district. Their crime? Their political affiliation.

Since the last panchayat election that was marred by violence — with some incidents caught on camera — and intimidation as brazen as one faced by even Union ministers, three BJP workers have mysteriously been found dead and hanging from a tree. Though Trinamool was quick to distance itself from these cases, calling them cases of "suicide", BJP cried murder.

Shishu Pal Shahish, 22

The body of an active BJP worker was found hanging from a tree under mysterious circumstances in Bengal's Purulia district on Thursday. This happened even as the second phase of the Lok Sabha election was on. The deceased was identified as 22-year-old Shishupal Shahish and his death created massive tension in the district.

Also read: Clashes during Lok Sabha polls establish Bengal as politically most violent state

 The Trinamool, quite predictably, tried to pass off Shahish’s death as suicide but the BJP has called it a political murder. Even, the victim’s father blamed the TMC for his son's murder.

Trilochan Mahato, 18

Eighteen-year-old Trilochan Mahato was found hanging from a tree in Bengal's Purulia in June 2018. Mahato was a BJP worker and his father was also a Dalit BJP leader, identified as Pano Mahato of Balarampur block.

When the young boy was found hanging, barely 200 meters away from his house, his T-shirt a message scribbled on it. It read: “You deserve to die for doing politics and working for BJP at this young age”. 

Dulal Kumar, 32

Thirty-two years old and full of dreams, that is how villagers described Dulal Kumar, who was an active member of the BJP's OBC Morcha in Balarampur — a place from where TMC was wiped out during the rural polls.

One morning in June 2018, his body was found hanging from an electric transformer. Similar script unfolded where the BJP blamed the TMC and the latter denied. The BJP president Amit Shah himself tweeted, “Distressed to know about yet another killing of BJP karyakarta Dulal Kumar in Balrampur, West Bengal. This continued brutality and violence in the land of West Bengal is shameful and inhuman". A Criminal Investigation Department probe was ordered, but that was too little a consolation for Kumar’s family.

Bengal in recent times has seen a vicious cycle of violence, death and regressive political intimidation. This is truer for Purulia — a district, which allowed the BJP to make inroads into Bengal during Panchayat polls. The polling saw 33% of seats won uncontested because the opposition wasn't allowed to file nomination papers.

Most of them were young and restless. Many a victim was the sole bread earner for his family. Most of them were from backward castes, with some from the Dalit community as well. Neither the mainstream nor social media cares.