Two motorcycle-borne armed youths shot dead CPM leader, Chandi Charan Das, in Jamboni, Pashchim Midnapore, on Saturday morning.
Police claimed that the killers belonged to the Jharkhand Party and were avenging the murder of nine partymen a few months ago. No arrests have been made till late in the day.
Saturday’s incident occurred in the crowded Gidhni market at about 10 am. Das, who had just returned from his ancestral house in Kheriaparia, was sitting outside his hardware shop when the miscreants shot him from point-blank range. Incidentally, the CPM leader was a witness to the kidnapping of one Shyamapada Patra by the Jharkhand Party members in Gidhni.
A bandh was declared in Gidhni following the murder on Saturday. Shops and business establishments remained closed, and vehicles kept off the roads.
Local CPM leaders Basu Bhakat and Dahar Sen claimed that Jharkhand Party activists had been targeting Das and his elder brother Sukhomoy for a long time.
“Altogether, 16 CPM and Jharkhand Party supporters were killed in the area in the past one year,” the police said.
The Jharkhand Party had secured all seats of the Jamboni block during the last panchayat elections. This time, the CPM is working hard to wrest control over the panchayats. But a series of killings in both parties have created a turmoil in the area.