A 40-year-old TMC leader was shot dead at Bandel station in West Bengal’s Hooghly district on Saturday morning. The deceased has been identified as Dilip Ram, husband of Bandel Panchayat Pradhan Neetu Ram. No arrest has been made yet.
TMC has called a 12-hour shutdown in Chinsurah on Sunday in protest against the murder.
The incident took place near platform No. 5 when Ram, a railway employee, was moving towards crossing a railway fence.
“He was shot at his head from behind, when he was going to work today,” said a senior police official.
Sources said a gun shot was heard and people rushed towards him. However, taking advantage of the crowd, the attackers managed to flee. He was found lying on the tracks. Ram was rushed to Imambazar hospital in a critical condition. From there he was referred to a hospital in Kolkata. On his way to Kolkata, Ram succumbed to his injury near Serampore, added sources.
“Ram was shot at point-blank range. A case will be registered by GRP and police will assist them. Prima facie it appears to be a planned murder. Investigation is on,” said Police Commissioner Akhilesh Chaturvedi.
The deceased’s wife, Neetu, claimed that he had been killed by anti-social elements of the area. However, TMC claimed that he had been murdered by the BJP.
TMC MLA Asit Majumdar said, “Ram has been murdered by BJP goons. He was my close associate, which didn’t go down well with the local BJP leader. They were insecure as he had a huge mass support. He was also threatened a few days ago. The BJP is trying to create a Bhatpara-like situation here.”
Bhatpara, a TMC citadel for long and home to migrant jute factory labourers, has been witnessing frequent post-poll violence between BJP and TMC. The fight has intensified ever since Arjun Singh crossed over from TMC to BJP and won the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, under which Bhatpara falls.
Minister Tapan Dasgupta, who is also a local resident of Hooghly, accused the BJP of the murder.
“Senior party leaders have been informed about the incident. Ram was getting threat calls. The local MLA has informed the police about it,” said Dasgupta.
However, BJP has denied all allegations.
Hooghly BJP MP Locket Chatterjee and the party’s state president Dilip Ghosh denied the charges saying ‘cut-money’ and faction fight in TMC were behind the killing.
A district-level BJP leader said, “The BJP has no connection with the murder. Let police investigate the matter. As far as we know he had a lot of personal rivalry, for which he has been murdered. It seems he was the target of anti-social people in the area.”
A team of police officials, under Additional Deputy Commissioner of Chandannagar Police Commissionerate Swati Bhangalia, and other GRP officials visited the spot.
(With PTI inputs)