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Leader kin fears attacks

Suri, Aug. 19: The brother of slain Trinamul leader Ashok Ghosh has sought police protection fearing attacks on him by the rival faction in Birbhum after he is made the chief of the group his sibling led.

Dipak Ghosh today met the Birbhum police chief, accompanied by the wife, son and daughter of the murdered Trinamul leader.

Ashok Ghosh was shot dead by bike-borne youths on August 12 in Khoirashol. His family has accused Trinamul block president Ashok Mukherjee of plotting the murder. While Mukherjee is on the run, Birbhum police have arrested five persons, among them a Trinamul panchayat samiti member.

Mukherjee is said to be close to Birbhum Trinamul president Anubrata Mondal.

“My elder brother and I were the target of the faction led by Ashok Mukherjee. After he was killed, his supporters asked me to become the leader of the faction in Khoirashol. But now, I fear attacks on me by the rival group,” Dipak said after meeting Birbhum superintendent of police C. Sudhakar in his office.

Asim Bauri, the Trinamul worker who was riding the bike with Ashok Ghosh on the pillion on the day of the murder, is getting threats over phone for the past three days, Dipak alleged.

“Asim Bauri is being threatened with murder by unknown callers for the past three days. He is being threatened because he is a witness to the murder. After this, how can I feel safe?” Dipak said.

Asked if he was assured security by the police, Dipak said: “The SP assured me that he would consider our requests seriously. However, we are not satisfied with the police action so far. The prime accused, Mukherjee, is yet to be arrested.”

Ashok Ghosh’s son Biswajit said: “I can’t understand why the police can’t trace Mukherjee by tracking his cellphone. We know the police often do that to nab criminals,”

According to a police officer in Birbhum, Mukherjee’s cellphone was now switched off, which made it impossible for the phone to be tracked.

Trinamul workers known to be close to Ashok Ghosh today said the decision to make Dipak the chief of the faction was taken three days ago at a meeting in Khoirashol.

“Actually, one of the reasons behind the murder was to make Ashok Ghosh’s faction weak in Khoirashol. Now, after his brother, Dipak may become the target. So, he has every reason to get scared,” a Trinamul MLA belonging to the Ashok Ghosh faction said.

Ashok Ghosh’s family members today said they would meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee, probably on Wednesday.

“We are going to Calcutta on Wednesday to meet the chief minister. We hope she will give us a hearing,” Biswajit said.

Asked about Dipak’s security, Birbhum police chief C. Sudhakar said: “I spoke to them in my office and received their written requests. We will take steps so that they don’t feel insecure.”

Birbhum Trinamul president Anubrata Mondal said Dipak’s decision to apply for police protection was “his personal matter” and the party had nothing to do with it.