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2 held in SFI leader murder

Baruipur, Jan. 20: Two persons, said to be Trinamul supporters, were arrested today in connection with the murder of a student of Rabindra Bharati University last night in South 24-Parganas’ Baruipur.

Saifuddin Mollah, 25, a second-year MA history student and president of the Baruipur (rural) block II SFI unit, was allegedly beaten to death near his home at Sitakundu village when he was returning home after attending a rally of CPM leader Surjya Kanta Mishra.

Five days ago, a Trinamul Chhatra Parishad student died after being allegedly beaten up by SFI activists in neighbouring North 24-Parganas.

A police officer in Baruipur said today that Masta Mollah and Manirul Islam, in their thirties, were picked up during night-long raids in Sitakundu.

“The duo were among the five named in the FIR lodged by Saifuddin’s younger brother Mehboob Hossain Mollah,” said additional superintendent of police (east) K.P. Barui.

Saifuddin’s father Mohammed Mobarak Mollah, a farmer, said the student was being “threatened” by local Trinamul workers. “My son was popular in the area. He was being threatened by local Trinamul workers as they envied him for his social activities and organisational skills. Trinamul activists murdered my son,” he said.

According to a senior police officer, the arrested duo said during interrogation that they killed Saifuddin following a rumour that he was planning to attack them.

“The accused lay in wait near Saifuddin’s home. When he got off an autorickshaw and was walking towards his home, they beat him to death with rods and sticks,” the officer said.

CPM leaders said Saifuddin’s death would create panic among SFI supporters before college polls in the district.

District CPM secretary Sujan Chakraborty said: “Saifuddin was a former student of Dakshin Barasat College in Baruipur. He was popular among students in colleges in the area. He used to run a coaching centre in Sitakundu.”

Around 30 school students today gathered at the coaching centre. “He used to teach us English, Bengali, geography and history,” said Mohammed Nazimuddin Mollah, a Class X student, weeping.

Opposition leader Mishra visited Saifuddin’s home and coaching centre today and spoke to his parents and students.

Abu Taher Sardar, a Trinamul zilla parishad functionary, said: “We can’t say whether the arrested persons belong to Trinamul. We are looking into the claim.”