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2 murders, 2 courses of action

The daughter of slain CPM leader Abdul Haque Siddique Sheikh at her Nadia home on Saturday. Picture by Sourav Bhattacharyya

Thanarpara, June 28: Three persons have been arrested for the murder of a Nadia Trinamul leader yesterday, but nobody has been picked up so far for the retributive killing of a CPM panchayat member.

Although police refused to divulge the identities of those arrested, residents of the village where the twin murders took place said the trio were “CPM supporters”.

The family members of Abdul Haque Siddique Sheikh, 62, the CPM gram panchayat member who was hacked and shot dead by a mob minutes after Trinamul leader Anisur Biswas was shot dead, said they were “too scared” to lodge a police complaint. The police have started a suo motu case.

The family of Biswas, who was attacked while returning home after a court appearance in connection with a murder in which he is an accused, has named 22 people in the FIR.

The police said the three arrests were made on the basis of the FIR. The trio have been remanded in five days’ police custody.

Asked if the police were approaching the two murders differently, Nadia police chief S.R. Mishra said: “Since no complaint was lodged by the family of the slain CPM leader, we have started a suo motu murder case and are carrying out a probe. We have not been able to arrest anyone so far.”

A source in the district administration said tonight that the police did not want to “risk incurring the displeasure of the ruling party”.

“The police should be equally pro-active in dealing with the CPM leader’s murder case,” a Nadia official said. A senior home department official echoed the Nadia official.

“We are too scared to come out of our home and lodge an FIR. Trinamul has unleashed a reign of terror and we are under threat,” said Humayun Sheikh, Abdul’s son.

Many CPM members of the Narayanpur-I gram panchayat and rural bodies in adjoining areas have fled their homes since yesterday, fearing a backlash.

Among those who have fled are Narayanpur-I gram panchayat pradhan Altafan Halsana, upa-pradhan Papiya Khatun and Karimpur-II panchayat samiti upa-pradhan Mobaidul Haque.

“We had no option but to flee as Trinamul goons could have attacked us. We are feeling bad about leaving Abdul’s family at the mercy of the ruling party. But there is little we can do now,” Haque said.

Trinamul leaders today iterated that Abdul had fallen victim to a “mob outburst”.

“He paid the price for the conspiracy his party leaders had hatched to kill Anisur,” said Arzel Mandal, Trinamul’s Karimpur-II block president.