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Murder finger at TMC feud busters

Bolpur, Aug. 18: Three Trinamul leaders named in the FIR on the murder of a party colleague in Birbhum are members of a committee set up to fight factionalism in the district.

The FIR drawn up last night on the murder of Ashok Mukherjee, who was shot dead in Khoirashol on August 16 in an alleged factional rivalry, names Trinamul leaders Dipak Ghosh, Ajit Dhibar and Sheikh Jainal — members of the committee set up to battle party feud — among the 44 accused.

All three are absconding.

The committee has become virtually defunct as the fourth member, Dipak Sil, is also absconding. Sil, said to be a Mukherjee loyalist, is accused in the ransacking of a police outpost in Khoirashol.

A five-member committee was set up last year by Birbhum Trinamul president Anubrata Mondal to check factional feud. The move followed the murder of Trinamul leader Ashok Ghosh in November. Ghosh’s family had alleged that he was shot dead by followers of Mukherjee, who had replaced Ghosh as party block president in Khoirashol.

Mukherjee’s family has accused Ghosh’s loyalists for the August 16 murder.

Asked about the committee, a Trinamul leader said: “It has become difficult for us to run the party in Khoirashol. Four of the five members of the committee have criminal charges against them and are absconding. Kestoda (Mondal) is pretty worried.”

Factionalism is not the only worry for Trinamul in Birbhum. Several leaders disgruntled with the ruling party have switched to the BJP of late, prompting the chief minister to apparently instruct Mondal to “reach out” to people and woo them back into the party fold.

Asked about factionalism, Mondal said today: “It’s our party. We will run it the way we want.”

In Khoirashol, there has been a turf war for the past few years between loyalists of Ghosh and Mukherjee, both of whom have been killed in alleged intra-party fights.

The anti-feud committee comprised members of both factions — three from Ghosh’s side and the remaining two from the Mukherjee clan.

Dipak Sil, a member of the panel and a Mukherjee loyalist who is now absconding, said from an undisclosed location: “Four members, including me, are accused in different cases. The committee can’t function in Khoirashol. We have already spoken to Anubrata Mondal about this.”

Biswajit, the son of slain Trinamul leader Ghosh, said: “Ashok Mukherjee’s son has brought charges against me and my uncle (Dipak) in false cases.’’