February 10, 2019 —
The BJP blames infighting in the Trinamool Congress for the murder of legislator Satyajit Biswas
Two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters were arrested on Sunday in connection with the murder of Krishnaganj’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) legislator Satyajit Biswas, who was shot dead from close range soon after he inaugurated a Saraswati Puja in his locality in Phulpur on Saturday evening.
BJP’s national executive committee member and Lok Sabha election management committee in-charge for Bengal, Mukul Roy, has also been named in the FIR lodged at Hanskhali police station, sparking another war of words between the TMC and the BJP.
TMC supporters on Saturday night also vandalised the residence of a BJP worker, suspecting his involvement in the murder. While the state government has already ordered a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probe into the matter, the police administration in Nadia district suspended the MLA’s bodyguard Prabhas Mondal and the officer-in-charge of Hanskhali police station, Anidya Basu.
“The MLA’s security guard and the OC of Hanskhali police station have been suspended for negligence in duty. The probe is on and we are looking for others who might have been involved with this murder,” said Niraj Kumar Singh, inspector general of police, south Bengal.
Inspector general of CID, Ajay Kumar, visited the spot on Saturday night. Biswas was 37 and is survived by his wife and a one-year-old son.
This is the first incident of an MLA’s murder since Mamata Banerjee became the chief minister in 2011, even though another TMC MLA from South 24-Parganas district had a close shave in December when three persons were killed during an attack on his vehicle.
“BJP is stooping too low. People will give a befitting reply to the perpetrators of this dastardly act. Those who have killed him will not be spared,” TMC secretary general and state education minister Partha Chatterjee who visited the family at Krishnaganj, about 120 km north of Kolkata.
The two arrested persons – Kartik Mandal and Sujit Mandal – used to be TMC workers who switched to BJP several months ago.
“BJP has been trying to stoke tension and spread unrest in the area for quite some time,” said Ratna Ghosh Kar, another minister who attended the puja inauguration along with Biswas on Saturday and left the venue minutes before assailants shot him.
While BJP has denied any involvement, Mukul Roy rubbished the allegations against him.
“The way the state government is trying to link me various crimes in every possible way makes it evident that the TMC is scared of me,” said Roy, who was TMC chief Mamata Banerjee’s right-hand man for years before joining BJP in 2017.
“The police are arresting our men to suppress TMC’s infighting, which is the real reason behind the MLA’s tragic death,” said Jagannath Sarkar, president of BJP’s Nadia South organisational district.
Biswas, apart from being TMC’s youth wing chief for Nadia district, was also in charge of the party’s organisation for the Dalit refugee Matua community, who form a sizeable part of the district’s population. BJP and TMC are both vying for the Dalit refugee votes in Bengal.