CM orders Arabul's arrest after murder of independent candidate
Kolkata: A 30-year-old man was shot dead when some gunmen opened fire at a poll rally at Bhangar in South 24-Parganas on Friday.
Police sources said that Hafizul Mollah was marching in support of an independent candidate at Natunhat Bazaar area, when indiscriminate bombing and firing began at Natunhat in Bhangar around 4.30 pm. Mollah, who sustained bullet injuries on his head, was rushed to a private hospital in Rajarhat, where he succumbed to his injuries.
The local villagers alleged that the attackers were loyalists of local Trinamool strongman Arabul Islam. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered the police to immediately arrest Arabul, in connection with the incident. State Election Commissioner A K Singh has sought an immediate report from the police in this connection.
During an interview in a television channel, Banerjee, while responding to a poser on the Bhangar incident, said, "Some Maoists have been camping in the area and causing unrest. The police administration has been directed to take steps," she said.
A large police force, led by the Superintendent of Baruipur Police District, rushed to the spot and conducted raids at various places to nab the assailants.
The independent candidate whose rally was attacked, was backed by Jomi Jibika Rokkha Bahini (Land and Livelihood Protection Force), leading to a stir against a power grid station at Bhangar.
Bhangar has often been on the boil since January 2017, with Arabul Islam and his supporters clashing repeatedly with the villagers participating in the agitation against land-acquisition for the power grid. Police suspect that the agitation has the support of ultra-Left group Red Star. Many of its members were arrested under UAPA.
Nine independents from Bhangar had filed their Panchayat nomination via WhatsApp, as they had claimed that they could not go to nomination centres due to fear of attacks.