Two youths in their early 20s, one of them a college student, were lynched in broad daylight on Thursday after they allegedly shot at a building materials supplier in Khardah on the city’s northern .
Police said the murder attempt and the subsequent lynching were the fallout of business rivalry, but local residents blamed it on infighting between two factions of the Trinamul Congress.
Rajib Bhowmik, 20, a second-year BA student at a Barrackpore college, and Partha Roy, 22, an employee at a hosiery manufacturing unit in the area, went to meet Zakir Hussein, who trades in building materials and is a real estate agent, at his Patulia home around 8am.
“They demanded money and when I refused, one of them took out a revolver and fired,” said Hussein, who ducked and the bullet missed him. His cries for help alerted local residents and the duo, who had come on a bike, sped off.
But local residents gave chase on motorcycles and caught up with Rajib and Partho as their bike developed a snag before hitting Kalyani Expressway.
By the time the police arrived, the duo had been badly beaten up. Rajib was declared dead when taken to BN Bose Hospital in Barrackpore while Partha succumbed to his injuries later. No one has been arrested yet.
“Business rivalry might be the reason behind the murder. We are looking into all angles,” said C. Sudhakar, the deputy commissioner of the Barrackpore commissionerate.
Investigation has revealed that Rajib and Partha, both residents of Patulia Burtolla in Khardah, around 22km from the city, were involved in supply of building materials as well as land brokerage.
Local residents said Zakir and the youths belonged to two rival factions of Trinamul but party leaders denied a factional feud. “There is no such feud. The truth will come out after a probe,” said Nirmal Ghosh, the district president of the North 24-Parganas Trinamul unit.
A 36-year-old man was found with his throat slit in Jangipara, Hooghly, on Thursday. Police said Musharraf Mondal, a fisherman, had been missing since Wednesday night after a dispute with other fishermen.