TMC Leader Anarul Hossain Arrested in Birbhum Violence Case

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Kolkata: Two days after 8 people were charred to death by miscreants in an arson attack in the Rampurhat area in Bogtui village in Birbhum district of West Bengal, the police arrested a Trinamool Congress leader named Anarul Hossain in connection with the case.

Hossain was apprehended from Tarapith after the cops tracked his mobile phone tower location. The development came after TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed his immediate arrest over ‘administrative negligence.’

On Thursday, she visited the Bogtui village and met with the family members of the deceased TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh, whose alleged murder is believed to have sparked violence in Birbhum. She also met the relatives of the 8 deceased and assured them of appropriate action.

Anarul Hossain is the President of Rampurhat Block No.1 and was arrested in connection to the violence that transpired in Bogtui village of Birbhum. Hossain was associated with the Congress party, before defecting to the TMC.

Hossain joined the Trinamool Congress in 1998 and went on to serve as the party’s block president for more than a decade. Known as a ‘skilled organiser’ within the party ranks, he controls the municipal corporation and the sand mining business in the Rampurhat area.

Hossain grew up in poverty and worked as a mason (Raj mistri). He used to live with his family in a mud house (matir badi). However, his ‘fortunes’ changed after 2011.

Once an impoverished mason, Hossain today lives in a bungalow in Sandhipur village that is located in Hoogly district of West Bengal. He is also also the owner of several houses and cars.

He became an influential contractor within just 6 years. His influence in the area increased by several folds after he was made the Block President by Trinamool Congress.

The TMC functionary has the final say in matters pertaining to the Bogtui village. Citing local sources, ABP Ananda reported that the TMC Block President is in-charge of 9 panchayats, where no Opposition candidate was allowed to field nomination in 2018.

The influence of the TMC block President can be gauged from the fact that when police went to his house on the directives of Mamata Banerjee, his supporters began creating hurdles for the cops.

Anarul Hossain is said to be close to TMC (Rampurhat) MLA and the current Deputy Speaker of West Bengal Legislative Assembly, Ashish Banerjee. When he was confronted by media persons about his links with Hossain, Banerjee declined to answer.

Hossain was a confidant of MC leader Anubrata Mandal but their relationship had soured in the past 1-1.5 years. Anarul Hossain’s nephew has accused Mandal of fabricating his uncle in the case.

The relatives of the deceased had accused Anarul Hossain of not responding to their calls for assistance during the arson attack. The TMC functionary also did not apprise the police about the matter.

In his defence, Hossain had said, “Lies are being peddled to tarnish my name. When I learnt about the death of Vadu Sheikh, I went to the hospital. I even delivered a message of peace. Those who killed Bhadu Sheikh are the ones who carried out the arson attack. They are now trying to fabricate my name in the case.”

On Friday (March 25), the Calcutta High Court transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 

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