A Medinipur court has issued arrest warrants against Congress MLA Manas Bhunia and three others in connection with the murder of a Trinamool Congress supporter near Sabang on April 8. Bhunia is the local MLA from the area.
The two others are Bhunia’s brother and Congress West Medinipur president Bikas Bhunia, Sabang Panchayat Samity president Amal Panda and local leader Abu Kalam. While the chief judicial magistrate issued the arrest warrants on Saturday night, but police received the warrant on Monday.
Trinamool worker Joydeb Jana was beaten to death allegedly by a group of Congress and CPM supporters at Dubrajpur area in West Medinipur days before Assembly elections were held at Sabang. Jana was attacked with sharp weapons, lathis and iron rods when he was returning home, police had said.
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Jana’s wife had lodged an FIR with the Sabang police station against 22 people, including Bhunia. Local Trinamool leaders had claimed that Jana was beaten to death in Bhunia’s presence. On June 14, the Medinipur court had rejected the Bhunia’s plea for anticipatory bail. So far, 11 Congress leaders had been arrested in the case.
Sources in the police said the process to arrest Bhunia would begin soon.
Bhunia, meanwhile, met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for 20 minutes at the Assembly on Monday. He, however, refused to divulge details of the meeting. Asked about the arrest warrant, he said: “I will have to consult my lawyer before making any comment.”
Other Congress leaders, meanwhile, termed the matter a political conspiracy. Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan told mediapersons: “This is the result of the state government’s vindictive attitude against Bhunia, who was at least 30 km away from the spot when the incident took place. It is not a fight between Bhunia and the state government.
It is between the state and Bengal Congress. It is the CM, also the home minister, under whose behest false cases are being lodged against Opposition leaders.”
He added that the fight would continue against the “dictatorship” of the state government. “State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury has asked us to raise the matter in the Assembly but unfortunately, the CM did not choose to reply,” Mannan said.
CPM MLA Sujan Chakraborty, who was also present at the press conference, said: “This is a fight for democracy… Congress and CPM will unitedly fight inside and outside the Assembly.”
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh termed the incident as unfortunate. “I believe it is a conspiracy against Bhunia.”