Kolkata: The last rites of two BJP workers, who were killed in clashes in West Bengal's Sandeshkhali area on Saturday, were performed in their native village on Sunday after the saffron party was denied permission to take their mortal remains to Kolkata, a state BJP leader said.
A BJP delegation which visited Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas on Sunday afternoon decided to bring the bodies of its two dead activists to the party's state headquarters in Kolkata.
However, the police denied them permission to take the bodies to the state capital, citing law and order concerns. The convoy, including two hearse vehicles, was stopped thrice.
At Minakhan, the annoyed BJP leaders entered into a heated argument with the police officials and threatened to cremate the bodies in the middle of the road if they were not allowed to go.
Hundreds of saffron party workers gathered at the spot shouting slogans and even made a symbolic pyre on the road.
The standoff continued for nearly two hours after which the saffron party leaders backed off and allowed the bodies to be taken back to their native place in Sandeshkhali.
"What police has done is illegal and unethical. They cannot stop the bodies from being taken to Kolkata when the bereaved family members are willing. But we did not want to delay the cremation as the mother of one of the deceased has fallen ill," BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said.
Accusing the state administration of working for the Trinamool Congress (TMC), he announced that the saffron party will observe a 'Black Day' across Bengal on Monday, while a 12-hour general strike will be held in the Basirhat subdivision.
He also announced that the party will hold a mega condemnation rally in Kolkata on June 12 to protest against the lawlessness in Bengal.
A severe clash broke out between TMC and BJP workers in Sandeshkhali's Hatgachi area over the removal of saffron party flags on Saturday afternoon.
The BJP claimed four of its workers were shot dead and several others were missing. The TMC alleged its three workers were killed.
A TMC delegation, comprising state Food Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick and senior leaders Tapas Roy and Madan Mitra, on Sunday visited the family of Kayum Mollah, one of its slain party workers.
The BJP workers meanwhile blocked roads and held demonstrations in Bankura, Hoogly, Howrah, Midnapore, Malda, Barackpore, Naihati and North and South Kolkata. A number of BJP supporters were arrested while holding a protest near the party's state headquarters in central Kolkata.