An alleged criminal was arrested by the West Bengal police from Bokaro in Jharkhand in the early hours of Friday in connection with the murder of Congress councillor Tapan Kandu in Purulia district on March 13, officials said.
“The man, identified as Kalebar Singh, was remanded in police custody for 14 days by a Purulia court after he was brought to Bengal. He has a criminal record and is suspected to be one of the hitmen,” a district police officer said on condition of anonymity.
Anupam Dutta, a ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) councillor, and Tapan Kandu were killed in North 24 Parganas and Purulia on March 13, days after they won the municipal polls held on February 27. The crimes rocked the state.
Tapan Kandu’s wife, Purnima, alleged the involvement of the Purulia police and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). She filed a petition before the Calcutta high court last week.
Five personnel of the Purulia district police were confined to their barracks on March 20 following charges of dereliction of duty during Kandu’s murder on a road. He was shot from close range in front of his associates and several eyewitnesses. A woman sub-inspector, two constables and two home guards have been asked not to leave the barracks.
Purnima Kandu alleged that the police personnel, who were manning a security check point on the road during the murder, did not respond to the family’s request to rush to the crime scene which was within walking distance.
The police earlier arrested Dipak Kandu, a nephew of the victim.
Dipak Kandu contested the civic polls on a Trinamool Congress ticket against his uncle and lost. The Congress and Kandu’s family have demanded a court-monitored probe by the CBI alleging that TMC leaders and the local police have links with the murder.