A Bharatiya Janata Party leader was shot multiple times at Titagarh in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Sunday evening, reported NDTV. Manish Shukla died at a private hospital in Kolkata hours later. No arrests have been made so far.
The masked assailants came on motorcycles, said BJP workers who were present at the spot. Two BJP workers also sustained injuries. “We were at a programme together earlier in the evening,” said BJP’s Barrackpore Lok Sabha MP Arjun Singh. “He was attacked after returning to his office. Police were behind the attack. We saw more than eight bullet injuries on his body. I am also a target.”
Both Shukla and Singh had defected from the ruling Trinamool Congress to the BJP in 2018. Shukla was a former councillor of the Titagarh municipality. Elections are due in around 110 civic bodies in the state.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has summoned the home secretary and the director general of police to Raj Bhawan at 10 am on Monday. “ACS Home @MamataOfficial and DGP @WBPolice have been summoned at 10 am tomorrow in the wake of worsening law and order situation leading to dastardly killing of Manish Shukla, Councillor, Titagarh Municipality in political party office,” he tweeted.
BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation. “Shukla was murdered,” he said. “We demand a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the role of the police. Arjun Singh’s life is also in danger. Mamata Banerjee cannot rule the state with terror.”
The BJP accused the “goons” of the ruling TMC of killing Shukla. “Bengal is now being turned into place where murders are normalised! Manish Shukla, BJP councillor from Titagarh was shot by TMC goons. These series of murders clearly indicates towards your inevitable end TMC,” the party tweeted.
TMC’s Panihati legislator, Nirmal Ghosh, said the ruling party had no role in the attack. “This is a fallout of rivalry inside the BJP,” he told Hindustan Times.
Tension prevailed in Barrackpore after the news of Shukla’s death spread. BJP workers blocked the BT Road, demanding the arrest of the assailants. The party also announced a 12-hour bandh in Barrackpore area on Monday. Police Commissioner Manoj Verma deployed rapid action force. “We cannot say anything without conducting a proper investigation,” he said.