KOLKATA: In an event that may make political strife in West Bengal bloodier, Kharagpur strongman and Trinamool Congress leader A Srinivas Naidu (better known as Srinu Naidu) and one of his associates were killed and three others grievously injured when four bike-borne assailants opened fire on them and hurled bombs during an attack on a TMC party office in Kharagpur in West Bengal on Wednesday afternoon.
The industrial town, which is one of the three seats the BJP won in 2016 Assembly elections, returned state BJP President Dileep Ghosh, ousting oldest MLA in West Bengal Assembly Gyan Singh Sohanpal.
According to sources, the 27-year-old Kharagpur strongman, whose wife Puja Naidu is a local Trinamool Congress councillor, and associate V Dharma (25) were hit in the head and chest and were brought dead to Apollo Hospital in Kolkata. They were initially admitted to Kharagpur sub-divisional hospital and later
shifted to Medinipur Medical College Hospital.
Sources revealed that the assailants entered the office and started firing at the TMC party workers. "The attack was properly planned. The assailants knew when Srinu Naidu would be present at the party
office," a police official told Express.
However, speculations of old rivalry with another Kharagpur strongman Rambabu is also not being ruled out.
"Investigation has been launched whether the attack was a fallout of political rivalry or other reasons," the official added. Srinu Naidu, who was a railway employee, was first a close associate of Rambabu, but later became the Kharagpur railway mafioso when Rambabu was jailed for murder of top politicians.
The industrial town has witnessed long drawn gang war between rival factions and also witnessed it's first communal violence in many decades in Moharram in October last year.
A powerful rail scrapyard-linked Telugu mafia is active in the city since many decades. Srinu Naidu hailed from Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, like Rambabu and most of the more than 2 lakh Telugu immigrants in Kharagpur who were first brought by the British as cheap labourers when a railway factory was established in early 1900s.