In West Bengal’s Birbhum district on Sunday, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Kajal Shah and 14 of his accomplices were detained on suspicion of killing local youth Faizul Sheikh following a fight over control of a sand quarry.According to a district police officer speaking on the condition of anonymity, the altercation started on Saturday night and lasted until Sunday morning in Bansjhor village, which is close to Siuri town in Birbhum. Shah is among the 15 people who have been detained, and other homemade bombs that were used in the altercation have also been found, he continued.
Firhad Hakim, a cabinet member and the mayor of Kolkata, who is visiting Birbhum to monitor the TMC’s preparations for the panchayat elections, claimed the police had been instructed to take strong action. According to Hakim, who spent the night at Siuri, “I could hear the explosions even from the circuit home.”The March 2017 massacre of 10 persons, including nine women, at Bogtui village in the Rampurhat region brought to light the involvement of several TMC leaders and employees in the sand and stone industry in Birbhum, the majority of which are purportedly illegal.
The murder of Sheikh and the subsequent slaughter on the evening of March 21 were both ordered by the Calcutta High Court to be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).One of the main suspects in Sheikh’s murder, Faizul Sheikh alias Palash, was taken into custody by the CBI on Wednesday. In the murder investigation, five of the ten suspects were already in custody.About 20 suspects in the massacre were detained by the CBI.The CBI claimed in its charge sheet submitted in June that Anarul Hossain, the former Rampurhat Community Block-1 Unit President of the TMC, not only directed the massacre but also oversaw it while keeping the police at bay.