Arabul Islam was sent to 10-day police custody in connection with the killing of a supporter of an Independent candidate in West Bengal Panchayat polls. (Image: IE)Villagers in West Bengal’s Bhangar area on Saturday said homemade bombs were recovered from the house of Trinamool Congress leader Arabul Islam. The villagers said this on a day when Islam was sent to 10-day police custody in connection with the killing of a supporter of an Independent candidate in West Bengal Panchayat polls, The Indian Express reported.
Islam, a former Trinamool Congress’ MLA, was arrested on Friday on the direction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The former Trinamool Congress MLA was sent to 10 days police custody by Baruipur sub-divisional magistrate’s court. He will be in custody until May 22.
Bhangar II Panchayat Samiti chairman, Arabul Islam is accused in the murder of Hafizul Mollah, a supporter of an Independent candidate. The incident took place when Mollah along with other supporters were taking part in a rally from South 24 Parganas’ Kashipur to Machibhanga.
Meanwhile, police have issued a lookout notice against another co-accused- Arabul’s son and brother for involvement in the case.
The body of 28-year-old Hafizul Mollah arrived in his native village- Natunhati Bazaar Chowk in Bhangar on Saturday evening. Amidst brewing anger against the Trinamool leader, locals started to throw water on small bombs found in his compound. The small bombs were the homemade bombs, which were made in order to create violence on the poll day.
The terror of bombs and deaths are not new in the area. The region had witnessed an agitation against the Trinamool Congress-led state government’s move to acquire land for a power project in 2016.
Fatema Bibi, an Independent candidate from Ghazipur gram panchayat polls, arrived with her husband to come to pay tribute to Mollah on Saturday. The couple were hiding for the last few weeks.
“The TMC had put a lot of pressure on me to withdraw once my nominations had been accepted. They offered to build me a house, said they would give me money,” she alleged. But when she didn’t, she claimed Arabul’s men picked up her two sons. “They were beaten and then made to call me at gunpoint. They said I needed to step down immediately,” Fatema told IE.
Last week, the Calcutta High court directed the State Election commission and the state government for the proper maintenance of law and order during the election. It also said the law and order is a state subject and the state administration will be held guilty of any loss.
The three-tier Panchayat polls will take place on May 14.