Two SUCI workers from Jalbere II in Kultoli, South 24 Parganas, were killed on their way to court on Tuesday by a group of 15 assailants, of whom five were directly involved. Ram Sarkar, 25, and Haridas Mondal were attacked at Mondal-er Lot in Kultoli. The brutal murder was committed in the presence of five other passengers who were on board the same motor rickshaw van. SUCI has called a bandh on Wednesday in protest.
Of the two deceased, Ram Sarkar had a criminal background, and while Haridas, too, was a suspect, his guilt hadn’t been confirmed. So, the reason behind his killing is not adequately explained.
Cops said that the crime took place at 3.45 am on Tuesday, while the duo were on their way to the Diamond Harbour court. They were attacked and shot at by the assailants in full view of the driver and passengers of the motor rickshaw van. The men dragged the victims away and slit their throats.
The driver and passengers knew the assailants, who left the scene of the crime by foot. On the basis of the eyewitness reports an FIR was lodged at the Kultoli police station.
Sudip Halder a SUCI leader of the area, also a member of the district committee, said the CPI(M) that lost its support base in the area was playing ‘murder politics’ due to the upcoming Panchayat elections. “We have taken the matter seriously and have called a 12-hour bandh on Wednesday,” he said.
Ram Sarkar, convicted on murder charges, had been released from prison a month ago. He murdered one person five years ago.
“Ram Sarkar was killed in retaliation to a previous murder that he committed of someone named Kalipada Mal. He was a prime suspect. After five years, he was confined in jail for just one month. This is why the people retaliated. None of our men are accused in this case,” said a local CPI(M) leader of Kultoli.
“We are investigating the matter and the motive behind it,” said Pravin Tripathi, superintendent, South 24 Parganas.