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Cut-money issue: TMC leader found dead in West Bengal hotel


KOLKATA: A Trinamool leader in West Midnapore district of West Bengal, who was on the run after poor beneficiaries of state government’s schemes staged demonstrations in front of his house on the cut-money issue, was found dead in a hotel room.

Arun Das (52), the ruling party leader in the Chandrakona Road area, had left home three months ago fearing assault by the beneficiaries and started living at his relatives’ houses before he checked in the hotel in Kharagpur a fortnight ago, said police.

“His body was found on the floor of the hotel room. There were no external injury marks on the body. We are yet to ascertain whether Das committed suicide by consuming pesticide or poison,’’ said a police officer.

The cut-money issue triggered a series of demonstrations in front of the houses of the ruling party’s satraps across the state recently.

Barun, the deceased’s brother, said, “He left in  July after local people started accusing him of taking money from them for enrolling their names for state government’s schemes.’’

Barun alleged the demonstrators were instigated by the BJP’s local leaders. Refuting the allegation, BJP’s vice president in West Midnapore district Madan Ruidas said,“If someone took cut money from the poor and the victims demanded it back, what our party could do?’’ he asked.        

Three lynchings in five days
A man in his early 30s was beaten to death in South 24-Parganas on Tuesday night after he allegedly attacked a local Trinamool leader and a section of local residents caught him, said police. Bakibullah Mollah was allegedly assaulted with sticks and bricks by a group of 50 odd local residents.

Police arrived at the spot and rescued Bakibullah, who succumbed to his injuries on the way to a hospital in Kolkata. Bengal witnessed three incidents of lynching over a period of past five days.