Islampur police in North Dinajpur have cracked the murder case of Md Rahi, head of the Trinamul-run Panjipara panchayat, and have arrested a contract killer and a cab driver who were allegedly involved in the crime.
With this, five persons have been arrested in this connection so far.
Jaspreet Singh, the superintendent of police of Islampur police district, said on Tuesday late evening that Rahi had prevented a section of the land mafia in the area from illegally encroaching upon some land located on the bank of the Sudha, a river that flows through Goalpokhor block of the district.
“We have arrested Md Ali, who is from Bhojpur district of Bihar. He was hired for the murder. During interrogation, he admitted to the crime. We have also reconstructed the crime with his help,” said Singh.
The police have also recovered a 9mm pistol and three rounds of live cartridges. They have also conducted a raid in Kishanganj, a town in Bihar barely around 10km from Panjipara. They have also impounded an SUV and arrested driver Devendra Paswan.
“We suspect the firearm and the vehicle were used in the crime. During the investigation, it has been found that Md Rahi was murdered because he tried to prevent some people illegally trying to occupy some land,” the SP added.
On September 20, Rahi was shot on NH27 near the panchayat office. He died on his way to a private nursing home in Siliguri.
After the incident, police nabbed Md Mustafa, a Congress member of the panchayat who was with Rahi at the time of the attack but escaped unhurt. Later, two others were arrested.
In the course of the investigation, the police have also learned that a different Md Mustafa, not the Congress leader, was the mastermind. This person from Balichuka, a nearby locality in Panjipara, is absconding now.
“As far as we know, he was involved in illegal land grabbing and has gone into hiding after the murder. We are in search of him,” said Singh.
Following Rahi’s murder, Trinamul leaders and supporters in Panjipara had been exerting pressure on the police to nab all those involved in the crime. They threatened to close down offices of nearby rural bodies and start a protest.
“Our officers are gathering more information about the murder. They are also examining the suspected involvement of some others,” said the SP.
Kanaialal Agarwala, the Trinamul chief of North Dinajpur, said they had faith in the police.
“The police have made a major breakthrough by arresting some people from Bihar who are involved in the murder of Md Rahi. We hope they soon nab all others related to the case,” he said.