Councillor at murder spot: Accused
Bhadreswar: An accused in the murder of Bhadreswar Municipality chairman Manoj Upadhyay has apparently told police that the leader was gunned down in the presence of a councillor of the civic body.
"Ratan Chaudhury, one of the seven accused arrested in Varanasi on Sunday night, has told us that Raju Kumar Shaw, an independent councillor of Telinipara, was present at the spot on the night when the chairman was killed," Atul V., additional deputy commissioner, Chandernagore police commissionerate, said on Wednesday.
Metro tried to call Shaw multiple times but he was unreachable. "Shaw is absconding. We have launched a hunt for him," an officer of the commissionerate said.
Officers probing Upadhyay's murder said they were yet to ascertain whether Shaw was involved in the crime.
The Trinamul leader was gunned down in the middle of a road while he was returning home riding pillion on a friend's motorcyle late on November 21.
Upadhyay asked his friend to stop after hearing a voice call out "Dada" in the dark. A gang immediately surrounded the leader and pumped three bullets into him.
Shaw, who residents said worked in a jute mill in Bhadreswar, became a councillor of Bhadreswar Municipality in 2015. He had won as an Independent from ward No. 7, which covers Telinipara, by 73 votes.
Police sources said Shaw was involved in brokering land deals for promoters and was also minting money from illegal cowsheds in Telinipara and contractors involved in a jetty-repair project.
Upadhyay had evicted some illegal cowsheds and reportedly warned Shaw about his corrupt practices.
"It seems Upadhyay had emerged as an obstacle to Shaw," an officer in the commissionerate said.
The seven accused arrested in Varanasi were brought to Chinsurah, which falls under the Chandernagore commissionerate, on Wednesday. They will be produced in court on Thursday.
"We are yet to know the motive behind the murder. The seven have not yet told us whether they had been hired by someone to kill the chairman," an officer said.