West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar remained one of the focal points of the developments in the state capital on Monday, a day after a local BJP leader was killed in Titagarh town near Kolkata.
Dhankhar criticised the state police for alleged attempts at “cover-up and fishing for alibis”, raised the issue of “nosediving law and order scenario” in the state, made his “concern of the present alarming scenario” known to the state Chief Secretary, and met BJP leader and party’s observer for the state Kailash Vijaybargiya on the delay in handing over the body to family members.
In the evening, Dhankhar met the victim’s father, Chandra Mani Shukla, along with BJP leaders, at the Raj Bhavan.
On Sunday, Dhankhar had summoned the DGP and the additional chief secretary (home) ot Raj Bhavan.
On Monday morning, he made public his disappointment at the lack of response from either officer. Tagging Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Twitter handle, he posted: “Alarming nosediving law and order scenario @MamataOfficial. Targeted political killings inspite of alert by Constitutional Head. Neither ACS Home or DGP @WBPolice responded…silence speaks volumes.”
After his meeting with Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay, who visited Raj Bhavan on Monday afternoon, Dhankhar tweeted: “Conveyed my concern of the present alarming scenario to the new Chief Secretary. I am sure Chief Minister would be indicated all these critical aspects that run down democratic governance and lawlessness. Political violence and targeted killings must stop.”
Later, reacting to a statement by West Bengal Police, which stated that the probe is looking into all angles, including personal enmity, as Shukla had been accused in murder and attempt to murder cases, the Governor tweeted that the police are distancing themselves from a fair probe. “Criminal Jurisprudence Principles thoroughly sacrificed…. An all out effort to cover up and fishing for alibis. The manner of this dastardly act calls for focus on all angles including terror. West Bengal police far distanced from fair investigation.”
Late afternoon, BJP leader Vijayvargiya met Dhankhar at Raj Bhavan. According to sources, he highlighted the delay in handing over Shukla’s body to family members and party workers, who were at NRS Medical College Hospital in Kolkata since Monday morning.
“Anguished to gather [from] @KailashOnline that Manish Shukla dead body not handed over now over 20 hours [later]. Insensitive approach @WBPolice @MamataOfficial. Such actions indicate cover up. Time to be civil and fair and bust terror.”
The hospital released the body in the evening, but the police did not allow the body, along with the convoy, to be taken to Raj Bhavan. The victim’s father and BJP leaders, including Vijayvargiya, met Dhankhar late evening.
“We will tell him (Governor) that we are not happy with the police investigation. We want a CBI probe into the incident,” Chandra Mani Shukla told the media before entering Raj Bhavan. “We wanted to take the body to Raj Bhavan, but the police deliberately stopped us and did not allow us.”
After meeting with the victim’s father and the BJP delegation, Dhankhar tweeted in the evening: “Tearful Chandra Mani Shukla father of 39 year ony [only] son Manish pleaded for fair investigation. Slain Munish, an advocate, had multiple bullet injuries in head. According to delegation, it is a targeted political killing as hatched conspiracy and calls for independent expert probe.”
Dhankhar has been vocal against the state government, over the “deteriorating law and order situation” and has made public statements against the DGP and maintained that a section of police officers are towing the TMC line, TMC leaders on Monday reiterated their allegation that Dhankhar is a “BJP man” in the Governor’s post.
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