Almost a day after the daylight murder of a BJP leader, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday (October 5) expressed his anger with the state government, accusing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of ignoring his late night message to “speak urgently”
Manish Shukla was shot dead on October 4 at Barrackpore, near Kolkata, when he was speaking with local residents and party workers near a police station. The BJP has blamed the ruling Trinamool Congress for the killing – another such incident in the run-up to the state Assembly polls due next year.
The Governor has often locked horns with the Chief Minister over law and order and administrative lapses. This time, he alleged “targeted political killings in spite of alert by the constitutional head” and accused the police of not responding to his summons.
“Alarming nosediving law and order scenario @MamataOfficial. Targeted political killings in spite of alert by Constitutional Head. Neither ACS (Additional Chief Secretary) Home nor DGP Bengal Police responded. To CM (Chief Minister) at 10.47 PM ‘Would like to speak to you urgently!’ Only silence that speaks volumes,” Dhankhar tweeted.
The Governor had earlier tweeted about summoning the Additional Chief Secretary and police chief at 10 am today to discuss the “worsening law and order situation”.
A close aide of BJP MP Arjun Singh, Shukla was shot after returning from a meeting in Habra with other party leaders. He was chatting with a few people at a tea stall around 8.30 pm, when the masked gunmen opened several rounds of fire, said local sources.
Arjun Singh alleged that the Trinamool orchestrated the attack. “He was with me till 7.30 pm. Just near Titagarh police station they fired 12 shots. He was declared dead at Apollo Hospital. He was my close friend, and has been killed in front of the police.”
Reports said Shukla was a member of the BJP’s Barrackpore organizational district committee and a former councilor. Senior BJP leaders accused Mamata Banerjee’s party of a role in the attack and called for a 12-hour bandh on Monday.
The Trinamool Congress has dismissed the BJP charge, alleging that the incident was a result of the party’s internal dispute.
In recent months, there have been about a dozen killings of political workers, mainly belonging to the BJP and the Trinamool.