Involvement of contract killers fresh trend in Bengal’s political violence

Involvement of contract killers in political violence seems to have become a trend in West Bengal, the latest being the murder case of Trinamool Congress leader Saifuddin Lashkar at Jaynagar in 24 Parganas.

The incident led to a counter-lynching and carnage on the same day.

Records of political murders in the state for the last few years have revealed that the involvement of contract killers in such cases are becoming increasingly evident.

In March last year, Trinamool Congress councillor from Panihati Municipality Anupam Dutta was shot dead from point-blank range.

Dutta had reportedly become a victim of infighting in the ruling party.

Subsequently, contract killer Amit Pandey was arrested. In the same month last year, Congress councillor from Jhalda Municipality in Purulia district Tapn Kandu was shot again and again from point-blank range on the open street while the slain leader was on evening walk with his wife Purnima Kandu.

In this case also a contract killer, Kalebar Singh was netted by police.

Again in April this year, coal trader and BJP leader Raju Jha was shot dead and again from point-blank range in front of a sweetmeat shop at Shaktigarh in East Burdwan district of the state while he was travelling to Kolkata.

Jha was also questioned by central agencies in connection with the multi-core coal smuggling case in the state.

The theory of involvement of contract killers surfaced in this case as well.

The three common factors in all these killings are— a proper homework to study the routines of the victims for quite some time before the actual assassination, the precision with which the killer or killers escape even from a crowded place after completing the assassination assignment and finally multiple rounds of firing from point-blank or very close range to ensure the death of the victim.

Veterans feel that such precision and factors are typical of contract killers.

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