A day after the murder of Subal Bag, 60, a resident of Bagirhat, near Bishnupur, on the southern fringes of the city, four men were arrested on Sunday.
After a visit to Calcutta, Bag was on his way back to his Bagirhat home at Khariaberi, in the Bishnupur police station area, on Saturday, when the assailants stopped him at gunpoint, took him to a nearby warehouse and hacked him to death.
“He had gone to the city to meet his grandson’s bride. On his way back, as soon as he got off the bus, four youths stopped him and bundled him into a room, where they killed him,” said Aradhana Haldar, Bag’s daughter. “We are certain that it was pre-planned. After killing him, the men washed his blood and left,” said local police station officer-in-charge Pratik Datta.
Bag’s family members, as well as his neighbours, claimed that they had informed the police several times of the threats the murdered man had been receiving of late from local goons.
“Time and again, we approached the police, but they paid no heed to us. Subalbabu was respected in the locality because he always raised his voice against all criminal activity in the area. These goons were involved in looting Diamond Harbour-bound trucks loaded with cereal on their way from Calcutta. Subalbabu had stopped them from doing so. This led to his death,” alleged Bishu Manna, a local businessman.
Political parties traded charges over Bag’s murder. Local CPM leader Alok Sardar claimed that Bag was a CPM sympathiser and the Trinamul Congress, in league with local criminals, was behind his killing.
Trinamul MLA Dilip Mondol denied the charges. “I knew Subalbabu personally and he did not have anything to do with politics. Local criminals were after his blood and the authorities should take immediate action to nab the culprits,” he stressed.
Based on a complaint lodged by Amal Bag (the victim’s son) the police have stepped up action. “We have already arrested four men, suspected to be behind the murder. We are also on the look-out for a few others who could be involved,” local thana officer-in-charge Datta said.