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In midnight shooting, BJP worker killed in Bengal; 3rd death in a fortnight

According to the complaint filed with the police, Patanu Mondal (28) was sleeping with his wife and eight-month-old daughter when a few men entered the house and opened fire.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2019 17:35 IST
Sreyasi Pal
Sreyasi Pal
Hindustan Times, Berhampore
Trinamool,Bengal BJP,Patanu Mondal
BJP supporters staged an agitation in the area and prevented the police from taking away Patanu Mondal’s body for autopsy (Representative image).(REUTERS)

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker was shot dead allegedly by Trinamool-backed miscreants on Wednesday night.

The incident triggered a roadblock by BJP supporters in Harishchandrapur area of Malda district, about 405 km away from Kolkata.

According to the complaint filed with the police, Patanu Mondal (28) was sleeping with his wife and eight-month-old daughter when a few men entered the house and opened fire.

“We have received a complaint of murder against two persons, but they are on the run. Central paramilitary personnel will conduct route march in the area to restore confidence among the locals before the election,” said a senior police officer of the Malda district.

Incidentally, Mondal became the third person to be killed in political clashes in West Bengal since the elections were announced on March 10. On March 12, a 28-year-old Congress worker was killed in Chopra of North Dinajpur district. On March 18, a 45-year-old Trinamool worker was hacked to death in Murshidabad district.

On Thursday morning, BJP supporters staged an agitation in the area and prevented the police from taking away Patanu Mondal’s body for autopsy.

The murder triggered a blame game.

“Mondal used to work as a civic police volunteer for Harishchandrapur police station. Earlier, Trinamool workers framed him in a false case and he lost his job. Thereafter, he became a BJP leader in the area and a couple of days ago he was instrumental in organising a rally in the area where more than 1,000 people gathered, unnerving the ruling party workers. Trinamool-backed goons have killed Mondal,” alleged Malda district BJP president Sanjit Mishra.

Mishra also said that in 2018, Patanu’s elder brother Utpal won a gram panchayat seat on a BJP ticket in the Doulatnagar gram panchayat (where the family lives).

“Since that victory last year, the family has been facing pressure from local Trinamool leaders. After Utpal’s victory, Trinamool workers set fire to his (Utpal’s) house and damaged the jute that he cultivated. Ruling party workers were also putting pressure on Patanu to join the Trinamool,” added Mishra.

Dismissing the BJP leader’s claim, the working president of Trinamool’s Malda district, Dulal Sarkar, said, “The brother of the victim, Utpal, has already joined the Trinamool, and has been appointed the pradhan of local gram panchayat. Inspired by the development spree of the state government, Patanu, too, was also planning to join the Trinamool. BJP-backed goons killed him because of this.”

Mishra said the assailants fired four rounds and a bullet pierced Mondal’s neck.

In her complaint, the victim’s wife, Ruma Das Mondal, alleged that she was woken up by the sound of gunfire and saw two persons exiting the room. She named Sumit Mondal, a resident of the village, as one of the two. But she could not recognise the other assailant.

“A few days ago, Sumit threatened my father that he would kill my husband,” alleged Ruma Das Mondal.

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 17:29 IST