Residents of Mahestala, on the southern fringes of the city, blocked roads for an hour on Friday morning to protest the murder of Tarun Naskar, a local CPM worker. Naskar was killed by unknown assailants late on Thursday. Shopkeepers and market vendors, too, joined the protest against the spurt in criminal activities in the area.
The blockade was lifted around 10 am, after police officers intervened. Two persons were arrested on Friday in connection with the murder.
Naskar, 40, was murdered in the Bagpota area while returning home after downing the shutters of his shop. A complaint was lodged with the local police station by his relatives, which led to the arrest of the two suspects.
Neighbours recalled Tarun as an amiable and helpful man. He was popular among friends and they could not imagine why he had been targeted by assailants. “It could only be the result of a rivalry between political groups, as he was an active CPM member,” said one of his friends.
The police, however, spoke of a family dispute and an old gang rivalry as possible motives for the murder. Additional superintendent of police (industrial), R.K. Singh said: “Tarun had links with local goons. There were also some property disputes with his cousins.”
Local CPM leader Dipak Basu discounted the police version. He described Tarun as a sincere party worker. “In fact, he had helped the police net some wanted criminals. Tarun had once campaigned against a nexus between some policemen and the local underworld. The murder was pre-planned,” Basu claimed.
The police were reluctant to reveal the names of the two arrested persons but said their names had been mentioned in the FIR, along with two others, who are yet to be traced.