BHANGAR (WB): A Trinamool Congress (TMC) panchayat functionary of West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district was shot dead by unidentified assailants today.
Asikul Islam (30) alias Babushona, the panchayat functionary of Bhangar block II and considered as the right-hand man of TMC strongman Arabul Islam, was killed when he was on his way to attend a gathering at Natunhat area.
Supporters of Arabul Islam were gathering at his house to counter a procession proposed by those protesting against the construction of a PGCIL sub-station in the area.
A bullet penetrated Asikul's head and he died on the spot, the police said.
The group of people opposing the PGCIL sub-station alleged that Asikul had been killed by his own group, Arabul Islam's followers alleged that those opposing the project in Bhangar were behind the killing.
Police have started an investigation after receiving complaints. "We are investigating the matter," Superintendent of Police of Baruipur, Arijit Sinha said.
CPI(M) Politburo member Biman Bose alleged in the city that the death was due to factional fighting of the ruling party.
Bose, who took part in the procession by 'Jibon and Jibika Raksha Committee' to protest against the PGCIL substation, told reporters, "The death of the Panchayat functionary of Bhangar block was due to infighting between armed TMC men."
Blaming the TMC of trying to pass the buck on the committee, he said, "The TMC is trying to terrorise the peaceful demonstrators and levelling false charges against innocent villagers and leaders and supporters of the democratic movement."
"But they won't be able to befool the people," he said.