Malda, Nov. 14: A block Congress leader known for mobilising voters during elections was found dead with several stab injuries and his right leg chopped off from the knee this morning.
Although police have ruled out any political angle in the murder, calling it a turf rivalry between criminal gangs, the father of 38-year-old Mabud Sheikh lodged an FIR with the police in Kaliachak, about 30km from Malda town, today naming seven Trinamul Congress activists.
Local Congress MLA Abu Naser Khan Choudhury said Mabud had become popular in Kaliachak and had to pay with his life for the influence he had in the area.
“He was an active worker of our party. Trinamul knew that in order to gain control of the area and spread terror before the panchayat polls they had to kill Mabud. I have been told by other party workers there that five of the six policemen posted in a camp located in a primary school barely a kilometre from the murder spot had been withdrawn. I have spoken to the police superintendent and asked him to ensure the arrest of the culprits,” he said.
Mabud had reportedly got a call on his mobile phone last evening, following which he left his house. His brother-in-law Senaul Sheikh said Mabud got the call around 6pm yesterday.
His father Rezaul claimed that his son was called to a place called Paharpur, about 2km away, by Sallu Sheikh and Sadeq Sheikh, both Trinamul workers. It could not be confirmed how Rezaul came to know that the Trinamul duo had called Mabud.
“This morning around 6, we were told that his motorbike was found lying in Paharpur. His body was found in a mango orchard about 200m from the bike. He had been hacked on the head and chest. His right foot was missing from the knee downwards. Sallu Sheikh and Sadeq Sheikh are criminals who enjoy Trinamul patronage,” the father said.
Sabitri Mitra, the Trinamul minister for women and child development, denied that her party had any role in the incident. “The murderers should be arrested irrespective of their political affiliation,” she said.
Malda SP Jayanta Pal said: “The killing was the result of a turf war between two groups of criminals.”