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Raiganj shooting accused arrested

Raiganj, Jan. 6: The police last night arrested Chancal Sarkar, the key accused in Friday’s murder of a cable TV network owner, but political parties have begun demanding the shunting out of the district police chief.

State minister and Islampur MLA Choudhury Abdul Karim today demanded that Dipankar Bhattacharya, the superintendent of police in North Dinajpur, be shunted out as he had been incapable of stopping shootings in Raiganj.

Choudhury, the state minister for library services and mass education extension, who visited Raiganj two days after the murder of Sanjib Bardhan, the managing director of a local cable TV network, said: “We are surprised to learn that four murders and two incidents of firing have been reported in the first six days of the New Year.”

He added: “It is disappointing to see that the superintendent of police is sitting idle and has completely failed to tackle the situation, take action against the criminals and improve the law and order situation in the town. I have talked to the chief minister and will send her a fax tomorrow demanding his transfer.”

He claimed that the “police chief never picks up his cell phone, even if calls are made by state ministers like us for important reasons”.

The minister said: “We have received similar complaints from the administration, political leaders, media and the people in general. So far, he could not be seen in the police station or the scenes of crime, which is largely affecting the morale of police personnel working in the district.”

Workers of the CPM, BJP and the Congress shouted slogans today at separate rallies blaming the police.

The BJP, the Left parties and the North Dinajpur Citizens’ Forum have separately called 12-hour strikes in the town tomorrow.

The Congress has called a 24-hour strike the same day.

The police today produced Chanchal Sarkar, one of the key accused in Bardhan’s murder, in court. He has been remanded in jail custody for 14 days.

Also, a four-member team of the CID reached the town today and started investigation.

“We had requested the CID to help us carry investigation in the Bardhan murder case,” Dinesh Pramanik, the inspector-in-charge of Raiganj police station, said.

A CID team visited Bardhan’s office, spoke to his driver Swapan Debsharma and his associate Chhotu who were eyewitnesses to the event and also visited the site in Milanpara where the businessman was killed on Friday night.

Bardhan was shot several times in an ambush. His driver and an aide escaped but Bardhan died.

The CID officers also spoke with residents of the locality. “The team would be here for some days, investigating the case. Two more officers are likely to join it tomorrow,” a police source said.

Sashikant Pujari, the special inspector-general of police (north Bengal), has also come to Raiganj.

“The inspector-in-charge of Raiganj police station has recently assumed office. It would take some time for him to start working . Considering the state of affairs in Raiganj, we are keeping it on priority list and I am monitoring the activities closely,” Pujari said.

“Specific steps would be taken soon against the criminals and murderers to instil confidence on people’s minds.”

Dipankar Bhattacharya, the district police chief, however, stayed away from the murder spot.

Congress workers said Union minister of state for urban development and Raiganj MP Deepa Das Munshi is supposed to visit Bardhan’s family when she comes to Raiganj tomorrow.