A Trinamool Congress lawmaker was shot dead at point-blank range on Saturday while attending a public function in West Bengal's Majhdia, 120 km from Kolkata. Trinamool lawmaker from Krishnaganj constituency in Nadia district, Satyajit Biswas, had just lit a candle to inaugurate a Saraswati Puja function when he was shot dead at point-blank range, the police said. The event was organised by a club called "Amra Shobai" (All of Us).
Eyewitnesses said Mr Biswas was sitting on a chair in the front row with a small group of people who had gathered to watch a cultural show on a small stage. Suddenly, someone fired at him from the crowd milling around.
"It sounded like a firecracker going off. Then I saw Mr Biswas slumped to the ground," an eyewitness said. "I was just about five feet away from Biswas and rushed to help him. He was completely covered in blood."
Gaurishankar Dutta, Trinamool president of Nadia district, has accused BJP leader Mukul Roy and his men for the murder. Mr Dutta had left the venue minutes before the daylight murder happened.
Another minister, Ratna Dey Nag, was at the spot some time before the Krishnaganj constituency lawmaker from Nadia district was killed. Mr Biswas had even escorted Ms Nag to her car 45 minutes before he was shot dead.
A team of the Criminal Investigation Department has left from Kolkata to probe the murder.
The Trinamool strongly condemned the killing.
Satyajit Biswas our MLA was a dear colleague. Words fail me. Recently BJP leaders tried to stoke tension in the area. This was an orchestrated plan to eliminate him, designed to try and benefit BJP. People will give a befitting reply to perpetrators of this dastardly act 1/2- All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) February 9, 2019
According to police sources, Mr Biswas was shot multiple times from close range, but in the confusion and panic that followed the criminals melted away in the crowd.
The police have recovered a crude pistol nearby. It is not clear if that was the murder weapon.
The shocking murder comes just days before election dates are to be announced and in the middle of a confrontation between the ruling Trinamool and the BJP.
Several leaders of the Trinamool Congress have started pointing fingers at the BJP.
The BJP has blamed Trinamool's own factional feud for the killing and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
"I think it would be best to have a CBI probe because the CID will not be able to unearth the truth as Satyajit Biswas is the victim of intractable clash; it is best to get the CBI. The truth will come out," said BJP leader Sayantan Bose.
BJP state president said Dilip Ghosh all the party will fully back and cooperate with a CBI probe into the incident.