Anarul Hossain, a Trinamool Congress (TMC) block president from Rampurhat, was produced at Rampurhat sub-divisional court after claiming to surrender to the police on Friday, 25 March.
On Thursday, 24 March, the leader was arrested under charges of murder, arson, rioting with deadly weapons, criminal conspiracy, among others in connection with gruesome killings in Bogtui village in West Bengal's Birbhum district.
The arrest closely followed by Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee's visit to Birbhum, and her appeal directing the police to arrest the block president in the area, after at least eight people were killed on Tuesday, 22 March, as miscreants scorched several houses.
Victims' kin accused Hossain for brushing aside apprehensions of disturbances in the area.
What More Do We Know About Hossain?
The local leader, 61, hails from the Sandhipur locality near Rampurhat, where he worked as a mason before entering local politics.
As per local reports, he was a supporter of the Congress, and gradually leaned towards the Banerjee-led party after its formation. He joined the Trinamool Congress in 1998.
Soon, he became the TMC block president of Rampurhat Block-1 and was also in-charge of Bogtui village.
Garnering a reputation of a skilled organiser, Hossain reportedly assumed the position of an associate to Rampurhat MLA and former Minister of State Ashish Bandyopadhyay.
Locals say that he not only has his say with the local police but would also influence the municipality elections.
Earlier this week, houses of Sona Sheikh, Mihilal Sheikh, Fatik Sheikh, and Banirul Sheikh – supposedly distant relatives of late TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh – were set ablaze in what the police suspect is in retaliation to Sheikh's alleged murder on 21 March.
Bhadu Sheikh was a TMC leader who was elected as a member of the Barshal gram panchayat and was made the deputy chief, uncontested, in 2018.
Bogtui village, where the massacre occurred, was situated under Hossain's organisational area. As per locals and relatives of those killed, Hossain was in close contact with the area's administrative officials, but disregarded calls of desperation as the the violence ensued.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the matter and eleven people have been arrested till now. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had also sought a report from the state administration over the incident of violence.