Purulia, Feb. 6: The chief of a village panchayat was murdered inside his office in the Barabazar block of the district yesterday.
The death of Ajit Kalindi, a CPM leader and the pradhan of the Banjora village body, sent shockwaves across the district. “We are apprehensive about the repercussions of the killing with the panchayat polls months away,” said a local schoolteacher.
Kalindi, 40, was preparing notes for a gram sabha around 1 pm and had asked a party worker, the only other person present in the office, to get tea from a stall metres away. “When he returned, Kalindi was lying on the floor, his head in a pool of blood,” said Mohammed Ibrahim, a CPM district secretariat member and zonal committee secretary.
“The worker, also a chowkidar at the office, was out for six or seven minutes,” said Rampada Mahato, a Banjora panchayat member. “The office has three adjacent rooms. Ajitbabu was working in the one next to the premises boundary,” he added.
“We have registered a case of murder and investigations are on,” said district superintendent of police V.K. Goyal. The police are questioning the CPM “worker-cum-chowkidar”, whose name was not revealed.
Neither Ibrahim nor Mahato or Kalindi’s nephew Swapan, who accompanied the body to hospital this afternoon, had a clue to the motive behind the murder. “He was a good man and worked well as the panchayat pradhan,” said Ibrahim.
Marriage buses looted
A gang of 30 looted passengers of two buses returning from wedding receptions, molested women and killed one of the drivers on Ainsmali Road in the Dhantola police station area of Nadia late last night, reports our correspondent. The gang waylaid a bus on its way to Bagda in North 24-Parganas around 11:30 pm and a Ranaghat-bound bus around 1. The male passengers were forced out and the women looted.