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Exclusive: Basirhat Riot Victim’s Son Denies BJP’s Claim to Him

BJP claimed that Basirhat riot victim Kartik Ghosh was a West Bengal ward president of the party. Fake news again?

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3 min read

Soon after 65-year-old Kartik Ghosh was killed in the communal violence in Basirhat, West Bengal, BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh said that Kartik was the local ward president of the party.

But in an exclusive interview to The Quint, Kartik Ghosh’s son, Prabhashish, has rubbished the BJP’s claims.

My father wasn’t into politics. Our nine-member family depended on his income for our daily bread. He had no time to do politics.
Prabhashish Ghosh, son of Basirhat riot victim Kartik Ghosh
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Kartik Ghosh’s widow Namita holds up an old photograph of the two of them.
(Photo: The Quint)

Kartik Ghosh was lynched by a mob in Basirhat on 5 July, while on his way back from the local marketplace. Close to a week later, the politics around the violence that killed him rages on.

Those at Ghosh’s residence in Bhyabla, Basirhat though are still in mourning. His widow Namita is weeping. “He was a very good man. His hard work filled our stomachs. We were dependent on him,” she says.

Now that he is not there, I don’t know how the household will run. I hope the government helps us in some way. 
Prabhashish Ghosh, son of Basirhat riot victim Kartik Ghosh

Hope in the Time of Hate

Communal clashes broke out in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district last week. 
(Photo: IANS)

Prabhashish Ghosh could not save his father’s life when communal violence engulfed Basirhat. But he did save the life of another man – Fazlul Islam.

In a season of hate, Prabhashish and Fazlul’s story is a rainbow of hope.

Prabhashish recounts the events of that fateful Wednesday – 5 July. Both Kartik Ghosh and Fazlul Islam had been wounded in the violence.

Also Read: Basirhat Mob Lynched Kartik Ghosh, His Son Saved a Muslim Man

“I was told that no one from his (Fazlul's) family was there, so I took him to the hospital. I admitted him first and then I admitted my father. In my mind, I reckoned that my father would probably not survive.”

So I thought that if at least another person could survive, regardless of which community he is from, that would be better. I knew he is a Muslim but what mattered was that a human life could be saved.
Prabhashish Ghosh

Ghosh continues, “When Fazlul’s relatives arrived around 11:30 pm, I handed the responsibilities over to them. Then I went to tend to my father. The next morning, around 6:45 am, my father breathed his last.”

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A Plea for Peace

Kartik Ghosh’s family at their residence in Basirhat. (Left: Prabhashish Ghosh and Namita Ghosh)
(Photo: The Quint)

Speaking to The Quint at his residence in Basirhat, Prabhashish lamented that communal harmony in the region had been damaged. “There was harmony before. Then this happened. Why did they have to do this? Those who did must be punished. None of the culprits should get away.”

Prabhashish’s only plea? That the unrest not escalate any further.

I hope no such riot takes place again. I plead that no other life is lost, whether Hindu or Muslim. That is my only request to the people here.
Is West Bengal listening?
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Camera: Sk Mukto
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Producer: Erum Gour

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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