The brother of the only witness of the Chhoto Angaria incident, who was a Trinamool Congress supporter, was burnt alive inside a cold storage at Garbeta in West Midnapore on the wee hours on Sunday.
Police said that Osman Mondal, brother of the only witness Baktar Mondal, used to work as a security guard in a cold storage.
Preliminary investigation revealed that three to four persons had entered the cold storage last night and some people had seen them waiting outside the cold storage before entering for around 10 to 15 minutes. They had their faces covered with clothes.
Local people didn’t stop them from entering considering that they could have come to the cold storage for some work and were covering their faces due to cold.
They were well aware of the room where the victim used to sleep at night. They poured kerosene oil and set the room on fire.
Osman was in deep sleep and failed to come out as the fire spread fast. People had heard his cry for help, but it was not possible for anyone to enter and rescue him as the fire had engulfed the room from all sides.
The local people tried their level best to extinguish the flames. When they doused the fire and entered the room, they found the charred body of Osman.
Policemen from Garbeta police station went to the spot and initiated a probe in this connection.
Police came to know that he had quarrel with a person, Mukuleswar Mullick, in connection with distribution of 100-days job card. Police are not ruling out the possibility of Mullick’s involvement in the murder. As a result, police will interrogate him soon.
It may be mentioned that 11 Trinamool Congress workers were burnt to death inside the house of Baktar Mondal on January, 2001. Police also suspect that Osman was killed in similar manner to bring back the horror of Chhoto Angaria incident and to make Bakhtar understand that he might also have the same fate.
The incident led to tension in the area. A huge contingent of police was posted to avoid any deterioration in the law and order situation.
The police initiated a probe in this connection. They collected samples from the spot. A police officer said they spoke to the victim’s family members and came to know about some people whom they suspect to be behind the murder. Thus, the police will be interrogating them.