Passenger killed in Kankinara rail station in clash belt
A bereaved young man returning to his Nadia home from Bihar to mourn the death of his brother was shot dead by suspected robbers in the early hours of Saturday at the railway station in Kankinara, which falls in a restive political belt of Bengal.
Biswajit Biswas, 29, who practises a form of traditional medicine at a clinic in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, fell asleep on the Sealdah-bound Muzaffarpur Passenger train and missed the Naihati station. He got off at Kankinara around 2.30am.
As Biswas was waiting for a Gede-bound train to get home in Nadia’s Bhimpur, the robbers allegedly tried to snatch his luggage at gunpoint. When he resisted, the robbers hurled bombs and shot him, sources said.
After Biswajit’s death, the robbers took away his bag which, according to a friend, had his brother’s “savings of a few thousands at least”.
Biswajit is survived by his parents. He was the younger of two siblings, with the elder brother having allegedly committed suicide in Muzaffarpur recently.
Although no political link with the murder has been established yet, Kankinara is one of the pockets in the Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency that have been on the boil since the general election results in May.
Besides Kankinara, pockets such as Jagatdal, Bhatpara, Titagarh, Amdanga, Garulia, Noapara, Bijpur, Halishahar and Kanchrapara have been reeling under violence from an alleged free run of miscreants, many of whom have political backing, since the results.
Barrackpore is in the middle of a violent turf war, which has claimed at least seven lives in political murders since the results, between the BJP and Trinamul. Arjun Singh, who switched over from Trinamul to the BJP, won the seat.
On Saturday, a handful of passengers present on the platforms in Kankinara said the attack continued for over 10 minutes. GRP authorities have suspended four of its officials, including a sub-inspector, posted in the station at the time, for negligence in the discharge of their duties.
Biswas was returning home along with one of his friends after being informed of his elder brother’s suicide. Biswas had a clinic in the Bihar town.
Family members in Bhimpur’s Natunpara said that on Wednesday Biswas’s elder brother committed suicide by hanging himself at home after a martial dispute. On Friday morning, Biswas had boarded the Sealdah-bound train.
Sandhya Biswas, a relative, said: “Biswajit called me and said that he would get off at Naihati and catch a Gede-bound train to reach home via Majhdia early on Saturday morning.”
“He fell asleep and got off at the next station, which was Kankinara, around 2.20am, when the miscreants attacked him. I was in touch with him till around 11.30pm, when he told us that everything was all right. But later, one of his friends called us and told us what happened,” she added.
Biswas’s friend Keshab Kumar, one of the eyewitnesses, told police and the Biswas family that they had got off at Platform 3 of Kankinara station. Police spoke to Kumar and showed him photos of some known criminals in the area but he could not confirm if any one of them was involved in the incident.
Arijit Biswas, a nephew of the victim, said: “Kumar said that after the train left the Kankinara station, four miscreants surrounded my uncle, who had a big bag with him, and tried to snatch it.”
“He tried to resist the snatching attempt. Kumar said it was at this time that they shot him and hurled bombs, killing him at the spot. Kumar said he fled and informed the police,” he added.
The police later took the body of Biswajit to Naihati State General Hospital, where doctors declared him dead.
A senior GRP official in Sealdah said there are some stations in the Sealdah North section, such as Kankinara, Jagatdal and Titagarh, that are not safe at night.
“Train passengers in that belt have been attacked even during the day since the results. We are very concerned that no policemen was seen when something like this went on for over 10 minutes,” he said.
“It was a very unfortunate incident. We have begun a probe and detained some suspects,” said Ashesh Biswas, GRP SP, Sealdah.