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TMC, BJP spar over MLA Satyajit Biswas’ murder; Mukul Roy calls being named in FIR ‘political conspiracy’

Kolkata: The killing of Trinamool Congress MLA Satyajit Biswas drew sharp reactions from the ruling party and Opposition BJP, as a police complaint named saffron party leader Mukul Roy alleging his involvement in the incident.

Roy, a former TMC general secretary who joined the BJP last year following differences with party supremo Mamata Banerjee, denied the allegation, claiming that Biswas was a “victim” of the TMC’s internal feud.

File image of Mukul Roy. PTI

File image of Mukul Roy. PTI

Amid allegations that there was no security cover despite the presence of the MLA and a minister at the venue of a Saraswati Puja where the incident occurred, the officer in-charge of local Hanskhali police station and the personal security officer of Biswas were suspended. A departmental inquiry has also been initiated against the OC and the PSO, who was reportedly on leave on Saturday, police said.

Roy is among the four persons against whom an FIR has been lodged in connection with the killing of Biswas, police said.

An officer of the West Bengal Police told PTI that two of the four people named in the FIR have been arrested. “So far, we have arrested two persons in this case and detained another three. A country-made revolver used to shoot the MLA has also been recovered.

“As per our primary findings, it seems that the victim was fired from behind and the act was the result of a well- planned plot,” he said.

Asked about the chances of the assailants fleeing the area, the officer said the state police have been put on a high alert. “Nadia shares border with Bangladesh and there could be a possibility of them (assailants) trying to escape to the neighbouring country. Police have been put on high alert to check the movements along the border,” he said.

The country-made revolver was recovered from a ground near the place of the incident.

Biswas, who represented Krishnaganj constituency in the Assembly, was shot from a point-blank range by unidentified assailants on Saturday evening inside a Saraswati puja marquee at Phoolbari area, which is about 15 kilometres from the Bangladesh border. He was immediately taken to a local hospital where doctors announced him “brought dead”.

His body was brought home from the hospital Sunday morning for last rites, amid a blame-game between the ruling party and opposition BJP leaders over who was responsible for the death.

A large crowd gathered to pay last respects to the deceased MLA at his residence, a few metres away from the Saraswati Puja marquee where he was shot.

Roy, a former TMC member of Parliament, said that the legislator’s killing could be a result of infighting within the TMC. “Naming me in the FIR is absolutely a politically motivated move. I am sorry about Satyajit’s death, but the manner in which they (TMC leaders) are trying to hold the BJP responsible is nothing but a dirty conspiracy,” Roy told PTI.

TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee, however, alleged that people who killed the 41-year old leader belonged to the saffron party. Along with party’s Nadia district observer Anubrata
Mondal, who asserted that the “none of the perpetrators will be spared”, Chatterjee accompanied the MLA’s hearse to his residence from the hospital.

Stating that the chief minister was shocked to learn about the incident, he said, “Those who think that they will gain by eliminating Satyajit, are living in a fool’s paradise.”

Meanwhile, the chief minister has spoken to the family members of Satyajit Biswas and assured them all help. Chatterjee, also the state Education minister, said that attempts are being made to create divide among the Hindus and the Matua community, of which Biswas was a leader in Nadia district.

Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim alleged that “BJP is importing the politics of violence and murder in West Bengal from Gujarat.

“They think that they will win the seat if they eliminate him,” he said accusing the BJP.

Hakim also squarely blamed the BJP for the killing of Biswas, who belonged to the Matua community – deemed vital as a support base in Bengal. “The prime minister came to woo the Matua community in Thakurnagar last week. Now the local BJP leaders are resorting to criminal activities to gain political turf,” he said.

TMC Nadia district president Gouri Shankar Datta also accused Roy of being involved in the incident. “Roy is the main mastermind behind this killing. We demand his immediate arrest,” Datta told PTI.

Denying allegations of BJP’s involvement, the party’s state president Dilip Ghosh demanded a CBI investigation into the killing. An independent probe will reveal the truth, he said.

Ghosh also echoed Roy’s sentiments and said that Biswas was a victim of internal feud within the ruling party. “If an MLA gets killed like this, how can the common feel safe?” he maintained.

CPM state secretary Surjyakanta Mishra said that this incident shows that nobody is safe under TMC rule. He demanded an impartial probe to reveal the truth.

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Updated Date: Feb 10, 2019 17:55:34 IST

Updated: February 10, 2019 — 10:52 pm
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