In another horrific incident from West Bengal, three Hindu TMC workers, including Gopalpur gram panchayat member Swapan Majhi, have been murdered. The incident occurred on Thursday, July 7, near Peer Park in Canning in the South 24 Parganas district. As per reports, Majhi was killed by a group of 6 people. The other two victims are Jhantu Halder and Bhootnath Pramanik.
The assailants, reportedly, had first hurled a crude bomb at the trio. Swapan Majhi was then shot twice, and Bhootnath Pramanik was shot once. After the murderers exhausted their bullets, they hacked Jhantu Halder to death. One Aftabuddin Sheikh had allegedly provided details about the whereabouts of the victims to the killers. He was arrested in the Kultuli Police Station area on Friday, July 8. Reports suggest that the killers had tried to behead all the three victims after killing them.
The six individuals, namely Rafiqul Sardar, Bapi Mondal, Basir Sheikh, Ali Hosain Naskar, Ebayadullah Mondal, and Jalaluddin Akhand, have been named as accused in the First Information Report (FIR). The FIR has been lodged at the Canning police based on a complaint made by the elder brother of Swapan Majhi, Madhu.
The TMC had initially tried to pin the blame for these gruesome murders on the BJP. In response, the BJP has hit out at the ruling dispensation labelling the triple-murder case due to fallout within the party. Eventually, soon after the murder of the three Hindu TMC men, it came to light that Rafikul Sardar, the prime accused in the murders, is a worker of the Trinamool Congress.
“Both my son and husband are TMC workers. But they were not associated with Swapan Majhi. They belonged to another faction,” Ayesha Sardar, Rafikul’s mother, said.
BJP leader Rahul Sinha remarked, “It is now clear that it was a factional feud of the TMC. The factions wanted to exercise their dominance and take control over the area ahead of the panchayat polls.”
However, TMC’s upper leadership is still trying to brush off the claims of the main accused being a TMC member.
Local TMC MLA Saokat Molla proclaimed, “There is no party worker by the name of Rafikul in Canning. Anti-social elements can’t be members of our party.” He then inquired, “If Rafikul was part of TMC, then why would he murder a fellow party leader?”
Molla is a TMC strongman who is accused of instigating a Muslim mob to attack CRPF personnel deployed on election duty during last year’s assembly elections. CM Mamata once rebuked him, saying ”apart from violence and bomb-making, what work do you do?”. He is also being questioned by CBI in the coal theft scam.
Kolkata mayor and state minister Firhad Hakim came out accusing Rafikul’s mother of lying. He stated, “Anyone can give such statements. It is the police to find out and the court will decide. The BJP is trying to introduce politics of murder in West Bengal just like Gujarat. We won’t allow that.”
On the other hand, in a video published by twitter handle @DilipGhoshOff, the family of victim Jhantu Halder can be seen lamenting his death and blaming the authorities for their negligence. Jhantu’s mother, Hanshi Halder, said that the Islamists in the state had made their lives hell. She further states that she had only one son who earned bread for the whole family and demands severe punishment for Rafiqul. Hanshi Halder also alleged that Rafiqul has committed 108 murders and harasses women, but every time he goes to jail and quickly gets out.
These religious fanatics have targeted a nearby Kali Temple as well. “If we passed through the ground of the Kali Mandir, they would assault us. Swapan Majhi always protested these attacks on the Hindus. He would support the destitute women. He was there so we women could walk around. They (Rafiqul’s gang) have hurled bombs at the Kali Temple? Why? They have their masjids. Do we ever go to their masjids to hurl bombs? We are not able to sleep; we are so scared. When will the police arrest them? Why are they not hung to death?”
The questions posed by the deceased TMC worker’s mother expose the Hindu hate that has permeated throughout the Trinamul Congress. How will a party that cannot keep its Hindu leaders safe from its Islamist members keep all the Hindus of West Bengal safe? Will such criminals ever be brought to justice?
In March, 9 TMC workers and their family members – 8 women and 1 child – were burnt alive in Rampurhat, Birbhum district in another factional feud to avenge the murder of an influential Muslim TMC leader. After the incident, Firhad Hakim had claimed it was a ‘national conspiracy’ to defame West Bengal while the WB DGP rushed to state that the incident was ‘not political’ in nature. Later, the investigation was handed over to CBI by the Calcutta High Court. CBI has made several arrests in the case, including 4 who had fled to Mumbai.