Krishnagar, Sept. 5: Two men who had chanced upon criminals dumping a body after murder in a Nadia village were hacked and shot dead after they reported what they had seen to police.
Sudhanshu Roy and Narayan Das were on a morning stroll at Dubra village around 5.30 yesterday when they saw the gang dumping a man in a paddy field after pumping several bullets into him.
The goons saw them, too. Roy, a law clerk at Ranaghat court, and Das, an affluent farmer, were popular CPM leaders of the area and the murderers had no problem recognising them from a distance.
An officer of the Chakdah police station said the gang was then too busy getting rid of the body to chase the duo and kill them.
From the scene of the crime Roy, 35, and Das, 30, went straight to the police station.
Around 1 am today, about 20 people arrived in the village where the CPM leaders lived three houses away from each other. They split into groups and called out for the two by name.
“You are leaders. How can you be sleeping when the villagers are in trouble'” the police quoted one of them as saying. “Waking up from sleep, both wanted to know what the hue and cry was about. One of the youths said some villagers had fallen sick all of a sudden.”
Roy’s wife Nilima said when he stepped out of the house, he recognised the group at his door as the one that he had seen in the morning. “Within moments, my husband started running. He was running on the road and the goons were behind him. I was scared…. I did not know what to do,” she said.
After a while, the gang caught up with Roy on the road and started hacking him.
His father, Joychandra, 60, a branch committee member of the CPM, had also come out of the house and saw his son being murdered.
Nadia superintendent of police Ajay Nanda, who went to Dubra, about 75 km from Calcutta, during the day, said: “We know which gang has committed all three murders. We will get them soon.”
Joychandra said some of those involved were local residents. “I have told the police about their identities.”
A police picket has been posted in Dubra. The CPM has called a 12-hour bandh there on Thursday. Roy and Das were auxiliary members of the party, two steps away from being full-fledged members.
The police said the body they saw being dumped was that of Sankar Biswas, a criminal charged with murder and extortion, who was out on bail.
Close to the Bangladesh border, extortion, smuggling and contract killing are not rare in Chakdah.
Das’s wife Aruna said the goons dragged him by his collar and shot him. “I cried out for help but there was none to rescue him. My 14-year-old daughter saw her father being killed,” she said.
There might have been none to save her husband, but hordes of CPM leaders, including a minister and an MP, descended on Dubra today.