Two BJP workers held for TMC panchayat leader’s murder in Bengal

Basudeb Mandal, 52, a former member of the local gram panchayat, was a resident of Baruna village. His mutilated body was found by the road at Andaria.

The Bengal police on Tuesday arrested two villagers, Gopal Das Mandal and Khokan Khutia in connection with the murder of Basudeb Mandal, a Trinamool Congress leader in the Moyna area of Bengal’s East Midnapore district. Mandal was bludgeoned to death with sledge hammers and pickaxes on Monday afternoon.

Though the police kept silent on the political identity of the suspects, the local Bharatiya Janata Party leadership admitted that Gopal Das Mandal and Khokan Khutia are party workers and claimed that both of them have been framed.

Basudeb Mandal, 52, a former member of the local gram panchayat, was a resident of Baruna village. His mutilated body was found by the road at Andaria.

Local TMC MP Dibyendu Adhikari alleged on Monday that Mandal was murdered by BJP supporters.

“We are interrogating the two arrested men. We are trying to find the rest of their associates,” said Atish Biswas, sub-divisional police officer, Tamluk. “We have found the sledge hammers and pickaxes used in the killing. We are sure more people were involved in the crime,” he added.

Basudeb Mandal was the second TMC leader who was killed in East Midnapore district this month. On the evening of October 7, Kurban Ali Shah was shot inside a party office in the Panskura area.

Khukumani Mandal, the wife of Monday’s victim, alleged that her husband had received threats from local BJP workers.

Nabarun Nayak, organisational president of the BJP in Tamluk, refuted the allegation. “Our workers have been arrested on false charges. TMC made similar claims when Shah was killed. Later, a TMC worker was arrested in connection with that killing,” said Nayak. “Mandal used to extort money from local people. The killing is the fallout of internal conflict in TMC,” Nayak added.

“Ever since the BJP performed well in the panchayat polls in this region it has been spreading terror. Many of our supporters have fled from their homes. Mandal was one of them. He was returning home on Monday when BJP workers killed him. He played a key role in resisting the BJP,” said Subrata Malakar, TMC block president at Moyna.

Source: Hindustan Times

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