Labour officer shot & stabbed to death

Chinsurah, July 14: A senior officer of a private jute mill in Hooghly’s Chandernagore was shot and then stabbed to death on the factory premises this afternoon.

Firoze Akhtar, the assistant labour welfare officer of Gondalpara Jute Mill, was cycling to the mill after lunch at his quarters inside the factory compound when he was attacked by two miscreants around 3.20pm.

A profusely bleeding Akhtar, 59, was first taken to the Bhadreswar municipality-run Onkar Hospital near the factory and then shifted to Chandernagore sub-divisional hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Police said the miscreants, who are yet to be identified, could have been hiding in a bush near the mill gate. “As soon as Akhtar arrived, they fired at him. He took a bullet in his chest. As Akhtar fell off the cycle, the miscreants stabbed him repeatedly before escaping,” an eyewitness said.

Although there is a police outpost 500 metres from the mill gate, the personnel posted there did not notice the attack. Minutes after the strike, mill workers and policemen from the outpost took Akhtar to hospital.

“The brutality of the murder indicates that the motive could be revenge,” said Debashis Bej, the additional superintendent of police, Hooghly.

Police sources said Aktar, who owed allegiance to Citu, had been threatened by a worker of the mill a few days ago.

“The worker had turned up late for work. When the management censured him, he started shouting. He was asked to go home,” a police officer said.

“We are all exploring all angles. Preliminary investigation suggests that mill-related unrest was behind the murder,” the officer added.

He said some of the mill employees, who are suspected to have had strained relations with Aktar, would be interrogated. Nearly 7,000 people work in the mill in three shifts.

Aktar’s widow Rubina, who lives with the couple’s son and daughter in Mogra, about 30km from the mill, arrived at the Chandernagore hospital late in the evening.

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