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Saifuddin Murder: Contract Killer Angle Surfaces

The contract killing angle has surfaced in the murder case of Trinamool Congress leader Saifuddin Lashkar at Jaynagar in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district, sources said on Tuesday.

Lashkar was murdered on Monday. The incident led to a counter-lynching and carnage on the same day. From the nature of the murder of Lashkar, district police sources said, it was clear that the assassination was not an act of impulse but rather was pre-planned. Initial investigations have also revealed that prior planning was done on the spot and timing of the murder when there were not many people around at the assassination spot.

In all probability, said a district police official on strict condition of anonymity, the killers had done a thorough homework on the slain leader’s routine and came to know that every morning he used to visit a local mosque to offer prayers alone.

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“Secondly, from the nature of the killing, where he was shot from a very close range, the involvement of contact killers is becoming more evident. And in probability the killers came from outside the village of occurrence of the crime,” the police official said.

On Monday morning, following the killing of Lashkar, the Jaynagar area turned into a virtual battlefield. After the news of Lashkar’s death spread, a section of the villagers, especially those affiliated with the ruling party, got furious.

They identified two local villagers and started beating them severely. While one was lynched at the spot, the police somehow recused the second one. Soon the entire area turned into a virtual battlefield following clashes between two groups. At least 10 houses in the locality were set on fire one after another.

Meanwhile, the angle of infighting in the ruling party behind the massacre is also surfacing. The wife of Shahbuddin Sheikh, the person lynched by local people, has claimed that her deceased husband was actively associated with Trinamool Congress.

The police have registered three separate cases in the matter– the first related to Lashkar’s murder, the second on the lynching of Sheikh, and the third on the burning of houses.

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