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TMC leader shot dead on tracks in Bandel

Trinamul has called a '24-hour bandh' across the Chinsurah Assembly seat from Sunday morning

By Snehamoy Chakraborty in Bandel

  • Published 30.06.19, 5:03 AM
  • Updated 30.06.19, 5:03 AM
Blood on the tracks where Dilip Ram was shot
Blood on the tracks where Dilip Ram was shot Telegraph picture

A local Trinamul leader was shot dead, allegedly by BJP-backed goons, while crossing the tracks at Bandel railway station on foot to catch a local train on Saturday morning.

Trinamul has called a “24-hour bandh” across the Chinsurah Assembly seat from Sunday morning in protest at the murder of Dilip Ram, 42. The party had stopped calling bandhs since Mamata Banerjee began sniffing power after bagging 19 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

Dilip’s wife Ritu Singh, chief of the Bandel gram panchayat, and other Trinamul leaders blamed the murder on “goons backed by BJP worker Biju Paswan and his brother Lala Paswan”. Police sources said Lala was an accused in several crimes and was in jail.

BJP leaders blamed the murder on Trinamul infighting and threatened a movement if party workers or supporters were “falsely booked”. BJP Hooghly president Subir Nag claimed Dilip had been in touch with senior BJP leaders.

Trinamul sources said Dilip, an aide to Chinsurah MLA Asit Mazumder, did not hold any party post because he was a railway employee but was the de facto chief of the party’s Bandel unit.

“Five days ago, Dilip had been held at gunpoint by BJP-backed goons, including Biju. I informed the police but they were not arrested,” Mazumder said.

A police source said: “He was shot twice in the head from behind by a group of three people. It seems a planned murder.”

Dilip died on the way to a private hospital in Calcutta. His murder comes days after Mamata told a TV interviewer that Trinamul activists were under attack across the state from the BJP since the general election.

Trinamul Hooghly president and state minister Tapan Dasgupta has given police 24 hours to catch the killers.

Bandel is part of Hooghly Lok Sabha constituency, which the BJP’s Locket Chatterjee has wrested from Trinamul’s Ratna De Nag. The area, near strife-torn Naihati, Kankinara and Bhatpara, has been witnessing a Trinamul-BJP turf war since the Lok Sabha polls.

“No arrest has been made so far,” said Akhilesh Chaturvedi, Biddhannagar police commissioner. He would not comment whether the killers were BJP-backed.