15 arrested in Bengal after 3 alleged murders, political clashes in 2 districts
Among those arrested in the South 24 Parganas is a Trinamool Congress youth front leader.Updated: Jul 05, 2020 17:38 IST
Police in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas and Birbhum districts have arrested 15 people in connection with the alleged murders of three people since Friday night.
Aswini Manna, a Trinamool Congress leader in the Moipith-Boikunthapur panchayat area of South 24 Parganas district was lynched, allegedly by supporters of a Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), a small Left party, early on Saturday. Hours later, the body of Sudhansu Jana, a SUCI worker, was found hanging in his house which was torched along with some other houses and shops, allegedly by TMC workers.
Though SUCI has very little presence in the rest of Bengal, it is a powerful force in the region where the violence took place.
Eleven people from both parties have been arrested for the violence, a district police officer said on condition of anonymity. Among those arrested is Pintu Pradhan, a leader of the TMC’s youth front.
Local TMC leaders did not comment on the arrests saying police were doing their duty.
Tarun Naskar, former SUCI legislator from the local Joynagar assembly seat, said his party workers had been protesting against nepotism by TMC panchayat leaders involved in distribution of relief and compensation among people affected by cyclone Amphhan.
“In the 2018 panchayat polls we won 11 gram panchayat seats against one won by the TMC and seven by the CPI(M). But TMC leaders threatened our candidates and forced them to switch sides so that they could form the board. We were planning to bring a no-confidence motion against the board. On Thursday, we lodged a police complaint about relief-related corruption against the panchayat pradhan. This led to the attack,” said Naskar.
In Birbhum district, the body of Sishir Bauri, a TMC worker, was found in the Khayrasole area on Friday night. His family lodged a police complaint against six local TMC workers. Four of the accused were arrested, said an officer of Khayrasole police station.
TMC leaders alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was behind the murder. BJP district president Shyamapada Mondal denied the allegation. “It is a fact that many people in this area voted for us in the Lok Sabha polls but the murder is a fallout of internal dispute in the TMC,” he said.
In North 24 Parganas district, Champa Das, a councillor of Barrackpore municipality was shot in the leg outside her home in Ishapore on Saturday evening. She told the police the names of some known criminals as suspects but no arrest was made till Sunday afternoon.
The bullet was lodged in the councillor’s leg and she underwent an operation in a private hospital in Kolkata on Sunday.