The family of Ashim Mukherjee, slain contractor of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) in Asansol, alleged that they have been offered an amount of Rs 5 lakh from the Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC)-backed trade union to withdraw the complaint against their union secretary and TMC leader Kedar Pal who was arrested on Saturday for the murder, and has been sent to a seven-day police custody by Durgapur sub-divisional court.
Mukherjee’s relatives allege he was killed because he did not give in to the extortion demands of the union members.
“(And now) we have been offered Rs 5 lakh from the union and told to settle the matter amicably. Also, a single person alone could not have killed him. He was killed by a group. We are also worried that the post-mortem report will be doctored to shield the offender,” said Ashim’s brother, Anup.
Police officials, however, claimed that Pal, a foreman in the ECL mine, had been arrested on the basis of the complaint registered. A silent peace procession was taken out by Colliery contractors demanding strictest punishment to Pal and others responsible for Ashim’s murder. A team of BJP district leaders visited the residence and assured all help to the family members.
On Saturday, around 10 am, Pal and Mukherjee had allegedly got involved into a heated argument at the gate of the opencast mine at Andal. In a fit of rage, Pal allegedly hit Mukherjee with his helmet and banged his head on the wall which left him unconscious. When taken to the hospital, he was declared brought dead. After committing the crime, Pal went to Ukhra police outpost and surrendered.