A Midnapore Court on Monday issued an arrest warrant against veteran Congress MLA Dr Manas Bhuniya in connection with the murder of a Trinamool Congress booth president from Dubrajpur.
The warrant has also been issued against six other Congress leaders, including Bikash Bhunia, Congress president of West Midnapore district Amal Pandey, sabhapati of the Sabang Panchayat Samiti and Abu Kalam.
It may be recalled that Joydeb Jana, Trinamool Congress booth president of Dubrajpur, was beaten to death allegedly by CPI(M) and Congress supporters in Sabang on April 8 night, three days ahead of the election in the area.
The accused had sprinkled chilli powder in his eyes when he was returning after attending a rally in support of the party’s candidate Nirmal Ghosh near Mupukur Kalimandir. Almost 30 to 40 CPI(M) and Congress supporters had beaten him to death. The victim’s wife Manashi Jana had alleged that her husband had been receiving threats from Bhuniya for the past few days and there was no one apart from CPI(M) and Congress workers behind the murder. She had demanded arrest of Bhunia.
On April 11, the victim’s family members lodged an FIR against 23 people, including Bhuniya who was then the Congress candidate from Sabang Assembly constituency. He had won the election by around 49,000 votes.
It may be mentioned that the police have arrested 11 persons in connection with the incident so far. Bhuniya had moved the Court praying for an anticipatory bail. However, the plea for bail was turned down by the court on June 14.
After the rejection of his anticipatory bail was, the police on Monday submitted before the Court to issue arrest warrant against Bhuniya and rest of the Congress leaders who were allegedly involved in the crime.
There was hue-and-cry in the political circuits after the Court issued the arrest warrant against Bhuniya Monday morning. A police officer from West Midnapore said that there were many formalities to arrest the MLA as the Assembly was in session.
Bhuniya was found visiting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee personally in her office in the Assembly Monday afternoon. Although after coming out he claimed that he had a discussion about certain problems in his Assembly constituency, according to sources he had a discussion about the arrest warrant that has been issued against him.
Later, leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan also went to the meet the Chief Minister. Sources said that Mannan too had the discussion with her on the same issue.