TMC leader, 34, shot dead inside party office in Bengal’s east Midnapore
A local Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader was shot dead inside a party office in West Bengal’s East Midnapore district on Monday night, triggering a blame game among the supporters of the ruling party and opposition BJP.
Thirty-four-year-old Kurban Ali Shah was sitting inside the TMC’s office when he was targetted at around 10pm in Panskura area, about 88km away from state capital Kolkata.
A few men came by on motorcycles, stepped inside the party office, pumped bullets into him, taking advantage of the noise and festive crowd on the streets during Durga Puja that masked the gunshots and fled.
The victim was the assistant sabhapati of the local Panskura Panchayat Samiti that is roughly the size of an administrative block.
Shah was declared “dead on arrival” at a hospital.
Ruling party leaders accused Bharatiya Janata Party-backed criminals of the killing.
“Who else can kill Kurban Shah other than goons backed by the BJP? They took advantage of the festive crowd to achieve their objective and flee,” TMC leader Nanda Kumar Mishra, who is also the chairperson of the Panskura Municipality, said.
“Everyone knows that there is a conflict between TMC factions in the area and Kurban Shah was killed as a result of it. Now they are blaming us,” said Nabarun Nayak, the BJP’s organisational district president in Tamluk.
“It’s nothing new. Whenever any TMC worker or supporter is killed they lay the blame at our door and our workers/supporters are often arrested under false allegations,” Nayak said.
East Midnapore’s superintendent of police, V Solomon Nesakumar, said they are investigating the crime.
“The miscreants came and fled in motorcycles after firing. They aimed at the head of the victim,” Nesakumar said.
Shah’s murder came just a day after a 50-year-old BJP supporter was killed in Chapra area of Nadia district on Sunday. The BJP’s leaders had alleged that he was clobbered to death by TMC supporters.
All opposition parties have alleged that at least 100 political workers have lost their lives in the state since the panchayat elections held last year.
Earlier this month, BJP president Amit Shah alleged in a gathering of party workers in Kolkata at least 80 party supporters have lost their lives in the state in the past three years.