BJP leader shot dead in Bengal; party blames TMC, calls for 12-hour shutdown

Barrackpore tense following daylight murder of Manish Shukla who was sprayed with bullets by bike-borne men

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Manish Shukla, a BJP leader, was shot dead on Sunday evening (October 4), near north Kolkata, when he was speaking with locals and party workers near a police station.

The BJP has called for a 12-hour shutdown in the Barrackpore area today (October 5), blaming the ruling Trinamool Congress for the killing. The Trinamool has denied the charge and blamed the incident on an internal feud within the BJP.

Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who condemned the incident in a tweet, has summoned the Director General of Police and home secretary to the Raj Bhavan.

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Eyewitnesses said several men on motorcycles suddenly drove up to Manish Shukla, a member of the BJP’s Barrackpore organizational district committee and a former councilor, and sprayed him with bullets.

He received injuries to his head, chest and his back, sources said. He was first rushed to a private hospital in Barrackpore and then Kolkata; but he succumbed.

A large posse of policemen has been deployed following tension in the area where BJP supporters heckled Barrackpore police commissioner Manoj Verma and additional commissioner Ajay Thakur, demanding arrest of the accused.

Senior BJP leaders who rushed to the spot blamed the Trinamool Congress for the attack and called for a 12-hour bandh.

BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya described Manish Shukla as “a close associate of BJP’s Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh” and blamed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for his death.

“We have no faith in the police. As the killing took place in front of the police station, there has to be some link. There should be a CBI probe into it. Arjun Singh had said earlier his life and those of his associates were in danger,” he said.

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“It is sad that Mamta Banerjee is resorting to such tactics. The people will never forgive her,” he said.

“Shri Manish Shukla, BJP councillor from Titagarh, shot dead in front of a police station… Lawlessness in Bengal under Mamata Banerjee is at its peak. Political murders seem to have the state sanction and have increasingly become a norm,” BJP’s Amit Malviya tweeted.

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