Six of the 12 persons named in the FIR registered in the murder of Northbrook Jute Mill CEO H K Maheshwari at Bhadrehwar in Hooghly have been arrested.
Police said Md Azharuddin, Mukunda Gupta, Md Aslam, Bikash Tanti, Rabindra Sarkar and Swapan Gupta were produced in court Monday, and all but Tanti, who was sent in jail custody of 14 days, were sent to police custody for five days. They have been booked under sections 120 (B), 302, 307, 326 and 147 of the IPC.
Maheshwari was lynched by agitated mill workers Sunday when he rejected their demand for increase in weekly working hours so that they get paid more.
“His last rites will be performed Tuesday at Babughat after his son arrives from Chicago,” said Pradeep Pasaria, one of Maheshwari’s sons-in-law.
He also said the family would appeal to the government and administration for speedy justice.
District Trinamool Congress president Tapan Dasgupta, TMC MLA of Champdani Muzaffar Khan and Champdani municipality chairman Suresh Mishra visited Maheshwari’s family during the day.
“The CM gave a statement in the Assembly that those involved in this incident, irrespective of their political affiliations, would be booked,” said Khan and added that the BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) were behind the killing in order to malign the reputation of the state government.
State BJP general secretary Samik Bhattacharya along with a team of BJP workers spoke to mill workers and also met the family members of the deceased.
Responding to the allegations of the state government, he said, “There is no BJP labour wing in the first place. Besides, BMS leader Rajendra Yadav was not in town for the last 10 days or so.”
He added: “What the ruling party is doing can only be termed as cheap politics. We want an unbiased and speedy probe into the matter.” Tapan Dasgupta termed the BJP team’s visit a drama. “They have killed Maheshwari and now they come to put up a drama here,” he said.
Meanwhile, the company has put up a “suspension of work with immediate effect” notice at the mill gate citing labour unrest. A few mill workers present outside were reluctant to talk. Many of them who stay in the vicinity have left their home since Sunday night fearing arrest. “My husband works at the mill. He has left this place,” said the wife of a mill worker who lives in a slum behind the mill.
Kiran Bedi tried to establish her credentials as a secular, pro-women candidate.