The voters who’d exercised their mandate in favour of a Trinamul Congress candidate for councillor in the municipal election here twenty days ago have turned hostile against him and launched a social boycott against the absconded leader’s family in Baburbagh locality in Burdwan town.
The sudden change in the scenario was caused by the suicide of a college girl, Tuhina Khatun, that has reduced the stature of Bashir Ahmed Sheikh alias Badsha who was reelected councillor from the ruling Trinamul Congress in ward no 27 in Burdwan town to a villain. This resulted Badsha to take oath by meeting the SDM in secret, as police are after him and his voters have turned hostile.
Badsha, according to the police, has been absconding since the day Tuhina’s hanging body was recovered from her bedroom and hasn’t been traced. He also skipped the official oath taking ceremony organised by the SDM, Tirthankar Biswas at Spandan stadium on 16 March fearing arrest. Biswas said: “As per the provisions of the West Bengal Municipality Act, any elected councillor needs to take oath within 3 months of victory in the election. The said councillor had come to my chamber in the second half on 17 March and had taken the oath.” He added: “I, however had no idea he was an absconder.”
The SDM’s chamber, incidentally is located within yards of the office of the SP, Burdwan East. The senior police officers remained tight-lipped about it. Police, meanwhile, booked four women and one Golam Nabi Sheikh – an aide of Badsha. Based on the complaints of Kuheli, sister of the deceased, an FIR against 14 persons including Badsha was registered with Burdwan police station.
Charges of intimidation, physical assault, provocation to commit suicide have been slapped against them. Pradesh Congress President Adhir Chowdhury had sat on hunger strike in Kolkata demanding a CBI probe into Tuhina’s suicide case.
Tuhina- a first year student of local Raj College and her two sisters had opposed Badsha’s candidature for the municipal election, accusing him of corruption, misconduct, nepotism and terror. They had sought intervention from the TMC’s leadership and also had proposed the name of a veteran Muktar Mia of the locality as Badsha’s substitute, which however failed. On being re-nominated by the party, Badsha allegedly attacked the house of the sisters and deliberately had put up a graffiti of three sisters hanging from the branch of a tree in front of the entrance of Tuhina’s house.
After Badsha was re-elected on last 2 March, his associates again attacked Tuhina’s house and allegedly outraged modesty of the sisters. Tuhina hanged herself within a couple of hours from the ceiling. Kuheli alleged: “Badsha provoked Tuhina’s suicide by painting the offensive graffiti.”
Yesterday, Tuhina’s sisters talked to TMC’s Secretary General Partha Chatterjee over the phone and put forward their grievances, alleging that Badsha was still allowed to roam scot free by the local police and was unleashing fresh threats. Following instructions by the party, TMC’s district president Rabindranath Chatterjee talked to the victim’s sisters today. Chatterjee said: “I’ve noted their grievances and will further talk to them tomorrow.” At Baburbagh, the rivals of Badsha also formed human barricade against the FIRnamed accused today.