Three Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers, including a local gram panchayat member, were shot at before being hacked to death with sharp-edged weapons by unidentified assailants in Canning town of West Bengal’s South 24 Paraganas district on Thursday morning.
Swapan Majhi, a member of Gopalpur gram panchayat, and his associates Bhootnath Pramanik and Jhantu Majhi were riding a motorcycle when they were attacked, the police said.
Teams of the district police and the Crime Investigation Department (CID) reached the spot and started probe into the incident. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem examination.
“A case of murder has been registered. Our investigation is on,” a police officer said.
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Even as the police were yet to ascertain the motive behind the murders, the TMC accused the BJP of killing its workers while the saffron camp described the incident as a fallout of infighting within the state’s ruling party.
According to sources, Swapan Majhi, along with Pramanik and Haldar who were both TMC’s booth-level presidents, was on his way to attend a meeting when they were fired upon at Pier Park in Kachua area. They said the assailants fired at Majhi at point-blank range while Pramanik and Haldar were shot when they tried to flee. The suspects then attacked them with sharp-edged weapons to ensure they were dead, officials said.
The police recovered a crude bomb and three cartridges from the spot. Additional Director General of Police (South Bengal) Siddhinath Gupta also visited the spot. “Swapan Majhi was the primary target of the attackeres. The other two were killed as they witnessed his killing,” he said.
Swapan Majhi’s wife, Tuktuki Majhi (30), has blamed a local strongman for the killing. “It was Rafikul Sarkar who killed my husband. He had stabbed and tried to kill a man who was saved by my husband.”
The TMC accused the BJP. “The BJP is trying to disturb peace in Bengal,” said TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh.
TMC’s youth wing leader Debangshu Bhattacharya said: “The three had met our local MLA Wednesday and said they had information that they were likely to be murdered. The incident took place even before they could go to the police.”
BJP leader Suvendhu Adhikari hit back saying: “It is a fallout of their infighting. The Police are busy erecting a watch tower outside CM’s residence… law and order in the state is getting worse.”
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