Trinamool Congress leader Anarul Hossain was arrested in connection with the Birbhum killings that sent shockwaves across West Bengal. But who is Anarul Hossain? for some Hossain is a messiah, but for many his rise from a construction worker to being "king without a crown" of the area is a reality built on dubious grounds. Such they claim was his power that none including the local police dared to touch him.
Hossain's childhood friend Swapan Mondal said, "I have seen him since my childhood. He used to help his father in construction work and then started working as a mason himself. But, he always wanted to achieve something."
"He got involved in politics when he joined the Congress," said Mondal, who now runs a shop selling fish food in Ramrampur village beside Hossain's house.
Hossain, the then TMC president of Rampurhat-1 block, was arrested on Thursday on the direction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for allegedly stopping the police from entering the Bogtui village when eight people were being burnt to death.
Kartik Mondal, who runs a nursery in the area, said Hossain's story of rags to riches lies on corruption and misdoings over many years.
Hossain is known to be "very close" to local MLA Asish Banerjee, the deputy speaker of the state assembly. He has been with the TMC since the initial days and over the period of time proved himself to be a "good organiser", said a district party leader.
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Hossain initially shared a good rapport with TMC's Birbhum president Anubrata Mondal. However, things changed after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Syed Siraj Jimmi, who replaced Hossain as the TMC block president after his arrest, said, "Look, we are in the same party. I cannot speak anything as my party doesn't allow me to do that." Hossain is at present in police custody after being arrested from the temple town of Tarapith within hours of the chief minister's direction when she visited Bogtui.
The CBI has taken over the probe into the case following the order of the Calcutta High Court.
The charred bodies of six women and two children were recovered on Tuesday in Bogtui after nearly a dozen houses were set ablaze in suspected retribution for the murder of the local TMC-controlled panchayat's upapradhan Bhadu Sheikh.
(with agency inputs)