Tension gripped Titagarh and Barrackpore areas on Friday after a CPI(M) councillor and leader of the opposition of Barrackpore municipality was shot dead at around 9.10am.
Jamil Akhtar, 48, was sitting at a tea stall at Ali Haider Road under Titagarh police station area. The bicycle borne assailants approach the councillor at a tea stall and shot Akhtar twice from pointblank range. One of the bullets hit Akhtar in the head and he fell down on the ground.
Most people in and around the area were shocked and some ran for their lives at the noise of gunshots. The assailants were gone by the time people gathered their composure. Akhtar died on the spot.
Hundreds of people came running towards the tea stall and started to protest against the killing. A mob ransacked four shops besides ransacking a Trinamool office. The mob also ransacked a police jeep once the police reached the spot after people informed cops about the murder.
Meanwhile, angry people staged blockades at various places including BT Road, Titagarh and Barrackpore stations. The rail blockade started at 10am and continued till 11.30am. Similarly the BT Road was blocked for an hour from 10am to 11am. As the situation began to go out of control, a huge police force along with RAF and combat force were deployed in and around the murder spot.
North 24-Parganas SP Rahul Srivastav and additional SP Dhrubojyoti Dey rushed to the spot along with a police force. Heavyweight CPI(M) leaders such as Tarit Topdar and Amitava Nandi, both former MPs, also visited the spot. The police along with the leaders tried to pacify the mob, but it was difficult to calm them.
The mob demanded immediate action and arrest of those responsible. The mob gradually pacified after senior police officials including CPI(M) leaders assured the mob that immediate action would be taken.
CPI(M) leader and former MP Amitava Nandi accused the Trinamool. "The Trinamool Congress has taken a decision to kill CPI(M) workers and this is a result of such a decision," he said. He also alleged that contract killers were hired for Friday's murder.
On the other hand, Silbhadra Dutta, Trinamool candidate from Barrackpore for the elections, said that Friday's murder was a result of infighting within the CPI(M). He said that Trinamool does not indulge in the politics of violence. The police, on their part, said the motive of the murder was not clear. All police stations have been put on alert after the incident. Jamil Akhtar, locals said, was a very popular figure in the area. Locals held the police responsible.