Head lost in murder

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Burdwan
  • Published 1.01.08
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Burdwan, Jan. 1: Police were tonight searching for the head of a CPM leader who fell victim to the most macabre murder in Bengal in recent memory.

A group of assailants this evening slit the throat of the 52-year-old Sisir Chatterjee, a CPM zonal committee member in Burdwan’s Mangalkot, and beheaded him, the police said.

The head could not be traced till late tonight, prompting the police to suspect that the killers fled with it. The murder on New Year’s Day was reminiscent of another on December 31, 2005, when a CPM district secretariat member was shot dead by Maoists in Purulia.

In today’s murder, the police have not yet zeroed in on any suspects but the CPM has blamed Naxalites and the BJP.

The CPM leader — zonal committee members are in the second tier of command in a district and wield considerable influence — was part of a resistance group that took on criminals in the area, his party said.

Chatterjee, a teacher in a primary school, was on his way back from a local committee meeting in Koichor village, around 170km from Calcutta, when he was attacked.

Around 7pm, Chatterjee was riding pillion on the bicycle of a fellow party activist, Bablu Ghosh. “A group of people armed with sharp weapons and rods intercepted the cycle. They slashed Chatterjee’s throat, possibly with a chopper. Then they beheaded him. As we can’t find the head, we suspect the gang carried it with them,” a police officer said.

Assaulted severely, Bablu suffered a crack in his skull.

Some 10 minutes later, other party workers returning from the same meeting stumbled on Chatterjee’s torso and an unconscious Bablu.

Informed, the police took charge of the headless body and Bablu was admitted to hospital.

Burdwan district CPM secretary Amal Haldar alleged that Naxalites and the BJP were responsible for the murder.

“Sisir had set up a resistance group to prevent criminal activities. We believe that anti-socials backed by the BJP and Naxalites murdered Sisir,” he said.