Calcutta high court seeks police report on BJP leader’s murder; TMC rally chokes Titagarh
Priyanka Tibrewal, a lawyer and BJP leader, filed a petition at the Calcutta high court last week seeking a CBI investigation into Shukla’s murder. The CBI probe should take place under the supervision of the high court, the petition said. The matter came up for hearing on Tuesday.Updated: Oct 13, 2020, 23:16 IST
A division bench of the Calcutta high court on Tuesday sought a report from the West Bengal police on the ongoing probe into the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manish Shukla at Titagarh in North 24 Parganas district on the night of October 4.
Shukla, 39, was an outgoing councillor of the Titagarh municipality and also a lawyer at Barrackpore court. He was gunned down on the busy BT Road by motorcycle-borne assailants who fired 18 shots.
Priyanka Tibrewal, a lawyer and BJP leader, filed a petition at the Calcutta high court last week seeking a CBI investigation into Shukla’s murder. The CBI probe should take place under the supervision of the high court, the petition said. The matter came up for hearing on Tuesday.
The bench headed by Justice Sanjib Banerjee asked the police to submit a report in a sealed envelope during the next hearing.
The West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is probing the case. Last Thursday, the CID arrested Subodh Yadav, a resident of Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas.
This was the fourth arrest since early October 6. Three suspects, Muhammad Khurram, Sheikh Gulab and Muhammad Nasir Khan were arrested earlier. All three have criminal records.
Two days ago, a CID team went to Bihar to interrogate a jailed convict named Subodh Singh who is involved in dacoities and murders in several states, including Bengal.
It is suspected that though Singh is lodged in Nalanda Jail he made phone calls to the shooters. The CID team wanted to bring Singh to Kolkata for interrogation but the Bihar Police turned down the request, said an officer aware of the developments. The CID may move court to get Singh’s custody.
The murder has triggered political tension in the Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency of which Titagarh is a part.
In Shukla’s murder, nine people have been named in the First Information Report (FIR) on the basis of the complaint lodged by his father Chandramani Shukla. The outgoing chairman of Barrackpore municipality, Uttam Das and his counterpart in Titagarh municipality, Prashanta Choudhury, have been named in the complaint.
The two Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders have denied the allegation saying the BJP’s Barrackpore Lok Sabha MP Arjun Singh is blaming them because they built movements to stop him from making further inroads in the district before the 2019 assembly election.
On Tuesday afternoon, the TMC organised a huge procession, which it called a ‘peace rally,’ in Titagarh. More than a thousand people took part in it, ignoring health advisories in force due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim also participated in the procession.
“It is a strategy by the TMC to shield the culprits and regain control on the region,” said Singh who left the TMC in 2018 and joined the saffron camp. He defeated TMC’s sitting Barrackpore MP Dinesh Trivedi in 2019. Singh has alleged that the CID is trying to frame him in the murder case.