A TMC-affiliated panchayat member who was elected in the recently held panchayat elections was shot dead in Haroa block of North 24 Parganas district’s Basirhat subdivision Saturday night, police said.
The victim, identified as Sheikh Saheb Ali, was returning home when the incident took place at Samla Bazar of Khasbalanda gram panchayat where he was elected from.
Five to seven persons allegedly blocked his way before opening fire at him, resulting in 8-10 bullet injuries on his head, chest, and back. He died on the spot. The police said that Ali’s family got information around 12:30 am that his body was lying in the market area. They along with local residents staged a protest by keeping the body on the road in front of the police.
The protest lasted for nearly two hours. Later, the police removed the body from the protest site and sent it for autopsy to Haroa rural hospital and later to Basirhat district hospital.
The victim’s family alleged that a TMC faction killed Ali for “political reasons”. Ali’s daughter Simran Parveen said, “My father was killed for political reasons. This was done by another group of the party.” The incident led to widespread tension in the area, with locals burning a motorcycle of the alleged assailants. An autorickshaw was also vandalised.
Basirhat Superintendent of Police (SP) JB Thomas said the investigation into the incident has been initiated and they will soon arrest the culprits soon. “It could be a fallout of an old rivalry. We are investigating the case from all angle,” he said.
The family said that Ali, who is survived by his wife and three daughters, was not given the post of either pradhan or deputy pradhan during the panchayat board formation that concluded recently as other TMC groups were angry with him.
His wife Halima Bibi said, “I don’t know how would I raise my daughters.”