Three TMC workers were arrested on Sunday night for allegedly torching and vandalising houses in Joynagar’s Doluakhaki village in South 24 Parganas district, following the killing of a party leader, police said.
“Three people have been arrested in alleged connection with vandalism and arson at several houses in Doluakhaki village. The arrested persons were identified as Nazrul Mandal, Akbar Dhali and Amanullah Jamadar. All three of them are TMC supporters,” said a police official.
On November 13, TMC leader and panchayat member Saifuddin Lashkar (43) was shot dead by motorcycle-borne assailants while he was on his way to a mosque, police said.
The incident occurred around 5 am and when he was rushed to hospital doctors declared him dead on arrival, they added. Saifuddin was a member of Bamangachi panchayat and TMC area president. The TMC had alleged that CPI (M) workers, “hand in glove with the BJP”, had conspired to murder Saifuddin. Ilyas Lashkar, Saifuddin’s father, had also pointed fingers at the CPI(M).
The same day, Saifuddin’s supporters allegedly torched around 20-25 houses in Doluakhaki village, around 5 km from Bamangachi.
According to reports, the accused allegedly beat up and threatened the women of the families. The CPI(M) had claimed that the houses of its workers were “selectively vandalised and set on fire”.
Three days after the killing, four persons, including a purported CPI(M) leader, were arrested.
Police claimed that the purported CPI(M) leader was identified as Anisur Lashkar. However, the CPI(M) has claimed that Anisur doesn’t hold any position in the party as a leader or member and “could just be a supporter”.
Almost a week after the incident, Joynagar continues to be tense and police have been deployed in the area. Even on Sunday, police denied CPI(M) permission to distribute relief material to affected families in Doluakhaki village.
Talking to reporters on Monday, Baruipur East MLA Bivas Sardar said the CPI(M) should “take responsibility for the unrest” in Joynagar.
The TMC MLA said, “The police have already arrested Anisur Lashkar. It’s not me who’s saying that Anisur of CPI(M) had planned Saifuddin’s murder. It’s the local people who are complaining against Anisur. If anyone else is involved in the incident, the police will arrest them quickly.”
“The CPI(M) has committed 60 murders in Bengal in the past 34 years. During TMC’s rule, the politics of murder ended. The CPI(M) is trying to bring back that culture…Saifuddin was not just a TMC leader. He was loved by all. Some incidents happened due to the public outrage over the death of a beloved leader,” Sardar added.
Senior TMC leader Madan Mitra also hit out at Sardar. “The police and administration are taking action…Old CPI(M) and BJP criminals are now coming out,” he added.
Dismissing TMC’s allegations, CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “Actual offenders are kept hidden…Those who are really involved in the incident should be arrested. No accused should go free.”