10 charred bodies recovered after TMC leader’s murder, 11 arrested

MHA seeks detailed report from the West Bengal government.

At least 10 charred bodies were recovered after Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Bhadu Sheikh, a deputy head of Barashal gram panchayat in Rampurhat block number one, Birbhum, was murdered on Monday night. Director-General of Police (DGP) West Bengal, Manoj Malviya, said on Tuesday that 11 arrests have been made in the case so far. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday sought a detailed report from the West Bengal government over the violence.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday strongly condemned the violence, saying human rights have been “decimated” and rule of law has “capsised”. Offering condolence to the families of those who lost their lives, the Governor said that the state is in a “grip of violence culture and lawlessness”. He said that he was pained and disturbed at the “horrifying barbarity” at Rampurhat in Birbhum. In a video message posted on his official Twitter account, Governor Dhankhar called the incident a “horrifying violence and arson orgy” and said he has sought an urgent update on the incident from the state’s Chief Secretary.

However, accusing Governor Dhankhar of making “unwarranted statements”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in a letter, wrote, “Your statements have political overtones supporting other political parties to browbeat the Bengal government”.

Sheikh was killed in a bomb blast at the Bogtui village in Rampurhat on Monday. Sheikh’s home is in Bogtui village of Rampurhat police station area. Bhadu Sheikh was at a tea shop when a group of miscreants escaped by throwing a bomb at him. After the incident, locals took Sheikh to the Rampurhat Medical College Hospital where the doctors declared him dead.

After this incident, violence allegedly broke out in Bogtui on Monday night. Miscreants set fire to several houses in the village and bombing went on all night. The fire brigade recovered 10 bodies from the burnt houses. Birbhum Superintendent of Police Nagendranath Tripathi said seven people were killed in the same house.

The state has directed to form a SIT in the investigation of the incident at Rampurhat. DGP West Bengal, Manoj Malviya informed that 11 arrests have been made in the case so far.

The state BJP reacted strongly to the Rampurhat incident. Demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BJP state president Sukanta Majumder said, “The state is slowly moving towards Presidential rule. There is anarchy in the state. This is the failure of the Chief Minister.” Opposition leader in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari demanded immediate central intervention.

BJP MPs from West Bengal on Tuesday sought Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s intervention.