Jahangir Alam Gazi, who was shot dead on Monday
Sept. 10: The CPM has accused Trinamul of plotting last night’s murder of a panchayat samiti sabhapati in North 24-Parganas, claiming the ruling party did so to gain control of the board.
Jahangir Alam Gazi, the 45-year-old sabhapati of Hasnabad panchayat samiti, was shot dead in Basirhat by three youths who came on two bikes last night.
“The Trinamul Congress stands to gain from the murder. It is clear they plotted it,” said the former CPM secretary of North 24-Parganas, Amitava Bose.
Trinamul denied the charge and blamed factional feud within the CPM.
In the 26-seat Hasnabad panchayat samiti, the CPM and the Congress-Trinamul combine have 13 seats each. Trinamul, which won 12 seats, forged an alliance with the Congress that emerged victorious in one seat to make the tally equal to that of the CPM’s. Gazi was elected the sabhapati with a toss of a coin, the vice-chairman’s post went to Trinamul.
“After the board was formed, Trinamul knew that if the CPM sabhapati could be removed, they will gain control of the panchayat samiti till a bypoll is announced. The CPM’s membership count has come down to 12 from 13 and it is one less than the combined Congress-Trinamul strength…,” said a CPM leader who declined to be identified.
Despite Trinamul’s sweep in the recent panchayat elections across the state, the CPM put up a better-than-expected fight in North 24-Parganas, especially in minority-dominated Basirhat subdivision.
Although she did not refer to the Basirhat murder in particular, chief minister Mamata Banerjee today said at a government programme in Barasat in the same district that “people’s elected representatives” should not be involved in activities of turf capture.
“Why should the people’s elected representatives go about trying to capture villages? They must be careful and responsible,” Mamata said.
She added: “Whenever somebody is killed in a clash between two sparring groups in a village, Trinamul is immediately blamed for the murder. Nobody is above the law and those responsible must be punished in accordance with the law….”
The slain CPM leader’s uncle today lodged an FIR with Basirhat police against eight persons. The police have charged them with murder, criminal conspiracy and common criminal intention.
According to sources, the police suspect that the murder was carried out by hired killers.
“Only one bullet was fired from close range and it hit Gazi behind his right ear. The bullet went through his skull killing him on the spot. It was a .303 bullet fired from an improvised gun,” a police officer said, adding that no arrests have been made.
The CPM’s plan today to bring Gazi’s body to its Alimuddin Street headquarters had to be dropped because of a delay in conducting the post-mortem, which the Left party blamed on the administration.
Minister Jyotipriya Mullick, who is also Trinamul’s observer for North 24-Parganas, denied the allegations levelled by the CPM, saying: “The murder is a fallout of factional feud within the CPM.”
A 46-year-old CPM member of Farakka panchayat samiti in Murshidabad was hacked to death on Tuesday when he was returning home from the rural body office. The CPM accused the Congress of plotting the murder, a charge the party denied.