Sourav Choudhury, 19, a college student who led a movement against the liquor mafia in his village of Kulberia in North 24 Parganas, was killed and his body chopped into 11 pieces on Friday night. The mutilated body parts were found near the Bamongachi railway station, about 100 kilometres from Kolkata, in North 24 Parganas on Saturday morning.
The youth’s family has filed a complaint against seven persons, including TMC panchayat member Tushar Majumdar and Shyamal Karmakar who has a police record. In his statement to the police, the victim’s brother, Sandip Choudhury, said he saw a group of seven persons led by Karmakar dragging his brother away around 11 pm on Friday.
According to residents, some local youths, led by Sourav and Sandip, had been protesting against the illicit liquor dens in the area. “About a month back, the villagers held a meeting and decided to protest against the liquor mafia. Whenever they tried to open these liquor dens, we gathered there and forced them to close,” said Sandip.
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“The last time that we confronted them, the miscreants led by Karmakar threatened to kill us. My brother dared him to do whatever he could. They returned yesterday and dragged my brother away. I was on the terrace of our house and screamed, but nobody dared to come out. Later, about 100 people from the village searched for Sourav, but failed to find him till this morning. I brought my brother’s body home in a bag,” said Sandip.
Pradip Chakraborty, an eyewitness, told the police that he saw Sourav being murdered after he was tortured. “We have lodged a murder case. We are conducting raids in several places to trace the culprits,” said Tanmoy Roy Choudhury, SP, North 24 Parganas. He, however, refused to say whether Majumdar has been named in the FIR. “I can only say that the FIR includes the name of Karmakar, on the basis of which we have started a murder case,” he said.
Meanwhile, both the TMC and BJP rushed to claim links with Sourav. Jyotipriya Mallick, State Food Minister and TMC leader from the district, claimed Sourav was a member of the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad.
Senior BJP leader Shamik Bhattacharya, who visited the grieving family, claimed that Sourav’s mother, Mita Choudhury, had contested the 2013 panchayat polls as a BJP candidate, and his father, Sadhan Choudhury, is a BJP anchal secretary. The state BJP leadership claimed Sourav was a “BJP booth agent” in the last Lok Sabha polls.
“The people of Bengal have not witnessed such a gruesome killing in recent times,” said Bhattacharya. The BJP has called a 24-hour bandh in the area on Sunday.
The killing coincided with the second death anniversary of anti-rape activist Barun Biswas from the same district, who was shot dead in 2012. A meeting in memory of Biswas was being held at College Square when the news about Sourav’s death came.