Mukul Roy, 3 oth­ers booked for TMC MLA’s mur­der

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - Ashis.Pod­[email protected] times­group.com

Ful­bari (Na­dia): Se­nior BJP leader Mukul Roy was on Sun­day named in the FIR as one of the ac­cused in Satur­day’s mur­der of Kr­is­hanganj Tri­namool MLA Satya­jit Biswas in Ful­bari, open­ing a fresh front in the Tri­namool-BJP war of words in Ben­gal.

Roy, once the No. 2 per­son in Tri­namool un­til he left the party for BJP in Novem­ber 2017, is head­ing his party’s elec­tion cam­paign strat­egy in Ben­gal. He is one of the four per­sons against whom Sec­tions 302 IPC (mur­der) and 120B (crim­i­nal con­spir­acy) of the IPC have been slapped. The other three are lo­cals — Su­jit Mon­dal, Kar­tik Mon­dal and Ab­hi­jeet Pun­dari. Su­jit and Kar­tik were ar­rested early on Sun­day and re­manded in 14 days’ po­lice cus­tody. Ab­hi­jeet is on the run.

Biswas was shot dead just as he came down from a Saraswati Puja pan­dal dais. Wit­nesses said three peo­ple sur­rounded him, and one of them fired at him from point blank range, killing him on the spot. Tri­namool ac­cused BJP of mas­ter­mind­ing the at­tack but BJP blamed an in­tra-party Tri­namool feud. On Sun­day, a coun­try-made gun — pos­si­bly the mur­der weapon — was re­cov­ered from the spot and sent for foren­sic tests.

The Ben­gal gov­ern­ment on Sun­day sus­pended Biswas’s per­sonal body­guard, Prob­has Mon­dal — who had taken Satur­day off — and the of­fi­cer-in­charge of the lo­cal Han­skhali po­lice sta­tion, Anindya Bose, who did not ar­range a re­place­ment, even af­ter know­ing that the MLA’s body­guard was un­avail­able for the day. The two were charged with “dere­lic­tion of duty” and a de­part­men­tal in­quiry has been started against them. Ac­cord­ing to CID sources, Prob­has had called up in the morn­ing to say that he would be on a day’s leave, but the OC did not take any steps. Lo­cals claimed that the killers had full knowl­edge of this.

The state CID is also prob­ing how the pro­gramme — at­tended by the en­tire Na­dia TMC lead­er­ship and a state min­is­ter — suf­fered at least 11 power cuts.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter the mur­der, Tri­namool had stepped up the heat on Roy. The party’s Na­dia pres­i­dent, Gouri Shankar Dutta, blamed Roy for con­spir­ing to kill Biswas, even cit­ing the “Matua fac­tor” as a rea­son. Biswas, a leader from the in­flu­en­tial Matua com­mu­nity, had been re­sist­ing BJP in the belt, Dutta claimed. On Sun­day, ur­ban devel­op­ment min­is­ter Firhad Hakim re­it­er­ated this charge. Se­nior state min­is­ter Partha Chat­ter­jee, who rushed to Na­dia early in the morn­ing, said: “We de­mand the per­pe­tra­tors and the con­spir­a­tors of this mur­der be ar­rested.”

CM Ma­mata Ban­er­jee her­self called up Biswas’s wife Ru­pali and promised her “strong ac­tion”. Ru­pali told po­lice that her hus­band had been anx­ious about a lo­cal who had re­cently switched to BJP from Tri­namool.

Roy was quick to dis­miss the charges against him as “po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated” and claimed he was ready to face an “in­de­pen­dent in­quiry”. Roy, how­ever, claimed he wouldn’t im­me­di­ately seek an­tic­i­pa­tory bail, since there was a stay or­der on his ar­rest by Cal­cutta HC till Fe­bru­ary 15.

The stage where Biswas was gunned down was a few hun­dred me­tres from Biswas’s home. Lo­cals claimed they had spot­ted Su­jit, Kar­tik and Ab­hi­jeet flee­ing the spot af­ter the gun­shot was heard.

PTI

BJP leader Mukul Roy ad­dresses the me­dia in Kolkata on Sun­day

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