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Barrackpore (WB): A TMC youth leader was shot dead by unidentified persons in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, following which five people were arrested, police said on Saturday.

TMC alleged that the BJP was behind the killing, while the saffron party claimed that the murder was a fallout of infighting within the ruling party in the state.

Ranajoy Kumar Shrivastava (33), a close aide of winner from Khardah assembly seat Kajal Sinha who succumbed to COVID-19, was shot dead near Sandhya Cinema on BT Road in Titagarh in Khardah police station area early on Saturday when he was returning home in his car, an officer said.

Unidentified persons stopped the vehicle of Shrivastava, who was the chief of the Hindi cell of TMC’s youth wing, and hurled bombs and fired a few rounds at him, he said.

Shrivastava was first taken to a hospital in the locality, and died on the way while being shifted to another medical establishment in Kolkata, the officer said.

TMC North 24 Parganas chief Jyotipriyo Mullick alleged that the BJP had masterminded the attack to “instil fear among ruling party workers in the area”.

TMC chief whip in assembly and Panihati MLA Nirmal Ghosh alleged that the saffron party workers killed Shrivastava as he had joined the ruling party in the state from the BJP before this year’s elections.

Dismissing the allegations, Barrackpore’s BJP MP Arjun Singh claimed that Shrivastava was never a member of the BJP and the killing was a fallout of “infighting over extortion”. He claimed that the five arrested people are TMC members close to Ghosh.

Shrivastava had worked hard for Sinha, who succumbed to COVID-19 after the polling and before the counting, leading to countermanding of elections in the Khardah constituency.

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