Three people, including a driver and an associate of Trinamool Congress MLA Biswanath Das, were gunned down after unidentified persons opened fire on his vehicle in Baruipur on Thursday evening, said police sources.
Sources said the MLA, who commuted between several programmes that day using the same vehicle, had disembarked at the local TMC office “minutes before the attack”.
His driver and the two others had driven on to a nearby petrol pump, where a group blocked the vehicle and started hurling bombs. They also fired bullets at the SUV for around five minutes before fleeing the spots.
“Three persons died on spot including my driver Babu Molla and associate Safiuddin Khan. It was clearly a planned attack and I was the target. I had a narrow escape because I suddenly changed my mind and got down at the party office. I have already spoken to my party leaders and police. It is too early to say who is behind the attack,” Das, the MLA of Jaynagar, told The Indian Express.
TMC sources said Khan too was a member of the party. “The incident took place at around 7.30 pm. We are on the spot and investigating,” said a police officer.
Following this, senior police officers reached the spot and the bodies were taken to a nearby hospital for postmortem.
A heavy police force has been deployed in the area, said sources. CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty lashed out at the TMC over “the new shootout culture” in the state.
“Jaynagar people are living in fear. The shootout culture is new in Bengal and such incidents are taking place daily in some or the other district… There is no safety and security of life under this government. Their own supporters are not safe. Only the chief minister and few of her confidants are safe. This incident is the fallout of a TMC factional feud,” he said.
Denying the allegation, TMC district president Subhasish Chakraborty said, “The CPM says a lot of things. It is an unfortunate incident, but under their (CPM’s) regime, the situation was much more. Let the police investigate and the law will take its own course.”