Purulia Congress councillor murder: eyewitness found dead

Niranjan Vaishnab was found dead on April 6, and a "suicide note" was found.

An eye-witness in the murder of Congress councillor Tapan Kandu was found dead at his residence on April 6 in Jhalda town of West Bengal’s Purulia district. Niranjan Vaishnab – Tapan Kandu’s friend – was apparently the only eye-witness of the murder which took place in Jhalda on March 13. A “suicide note” was found, in which Vaishnab reportedly said that he was agonised and depressed by the killing.

The duo was strolling in Jhalda on March 13 when assailants came and shot Tapan Kandu dead. The Calcutta High Court on April 4, had directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take up the probe from West Bengal Police and submit a report within 45 days. The state police had said that the murder was the fallout of a family dispute, which Kandu’s wife Purnima, had refuted and moved court seeking a probe by the Central probe agency. She alleged that her husband was being forced by the Trinamool to join the party after the civic poll results led to a hung board.

Some local people have alleged that the witness was under pressure due to the ongoing probe. The Congress had called a bandh in Jhalda municipality on Wednesday to protest the formation of the civic body by Trinamool Congress. Trinamool formed the board with support of an independent, as the Congress councillor’s death led to the number of Congress seats dropping by one in the hung board.

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