In a major development on Thursday, the West Bengal Crime Investigation Department (CID) arrested the third accused in the brutal murder of BJP councillor Manish Shukla at Purani Bazaar near Titagarh police station in Barrackpore area. The third accused, identified as one Subodh Yadav aka Subodh Rai, is reportedly a sharpshooter.
The murder had taken place on Sunday evening at around 8:30 pm after he stepped into the party office. Reportedly, bike-borne assailants shot Shukla from an extremely close range.
As per reports, Subodh Yadav was apprehended from his home in Khatal area of Barrackpore based on a tip-off from the other accused arrested earlier. Subodh has been remanded to 14 days in police custody by a local court. Reportedly, he is a TMC activist and a close aide of Uttam Das, who is the ex-chairman of Barrackpore Municipal Corporation. He has been booked for providing accommodation to the assassins of Manish Shukla and being a part of the larger conspiracy.
Conspiracy to kill Manish Shukla was hatched at Subodh’s house, reveals CID
The CID officials had informed that the plan to kill the BJP councillor was hatched at Subodh’s residence in Barrackpore. “The entire plan to eliminate Manish Shukla was hatched at the residence of Subodh. He provided shelter to the contract sharpshooters who were at least four in number and came to Barrackpore from outside a few days before the murder,” an official was quoted as saying. He further added, “Subodh had arranged the flat to lodge the hired shooters. Names of a few more persons suspected to be involved in the murder have also surfaced. Their roles are being examined.”
CID sleuths recover bikes, pistols and carbines
The Crime Investigation Department seized three motorcycles, three country-made pistols and a carbine from a glass factory near Sodepur railway bridge, based on the revelations of Subodh. The CID sleuths are now probing the source of the weapons. As per reports, the contract killers were housed in a flat in a multi-storied building on Dakshin Panchanantala Road in Ward 4 of Barrackpore. Citing CBI sources, ABP Ananda stated that the accused killers stayed in the said flat for several weeks, prior to executing the murder. However, the four assailants are still on the run from law enforcement.
TMC leaders in the dock
The BJP had earlier accused the Trinamool Congress of engineering the murder. The father of the deceased had filed a complaint with the police against other TMC leaders such as Prashanta Chowdhury and Uttam Das for being involved in the murder. Chowdhury is the administrator of the Titagrah municipality. The FIR has named a total of 7 people in connection to the case.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Arjun Singh had claimed that the prime accused Mohammed Khurram, earlier nabbed by the CID, has links with TMC biggies such as Firhad Hakim, Nirmal Ghosh, Madan Mitra, Dinesh Trivedi, and Bratya Basu. The BJP also called for a 12-hour Bandh on Monday. On Thursday, BJP leader Tejasvi Surya met the victim’s family and assured to deliver justice to Manish Shukla.
CID nabs two more accused
On Monday, the CID has arrested two accused, namely, Mohammed Khurram and Gulab Shaikh, in connection to the case. While Khurram was arrested earlier in the day, Shaikh was nabbed on the intervening night of October 5 and October 6. The CID officials had interrogated the duo and informed that Mohammed Khurram had ‘personal enmity’ with the deceased BJP leader. As per reports, Khurram is the primary conspirator who hired the contract killers while Subodh facilitated the accommodation and weapons for the assailants.
BJP demands CBI investigation in the Manish Shukla case
On Monday, the West Bengal government had handed over the case to the Crime Inspection Department (CID) from the Barrackpore Commissionerate. The case was handed over to the CID after the police conducted the post-mortem of the body of the deceased. The state unit of the BJP has criticised the move, insinuating that they do not trust the police working under the TMC government. The BJP’s disapproval comes at the backdrop of several cases wherein the unnatural deaths of BJP workers were dubbed as ‘suicide’ or ‘inconclusive’ by the state police. They have demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the matter.