The Communist Party of India (Marxist) condemned here on Sunday the murder of a zonal committee member of the party in the Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district four days before Lok Sabha by-elections are to be held for the seat.

CPI(M) State Secretary Biman Bose said in a statement that Hamid Sheikh’s murder by miscreants allegedly backed by the Congress was planned to “incite fear among the supporters of the party before the by-elections”. Sheikh, who was returning home after campaigning for the party, was killed on Saturday evening in the Mukundpur area.

The CPI(M) observed a 12-hour bandh during the day in the Nabagram Assembly segment that comes under the Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency.

Mr. Bose also alleged that the body of CPI(M) worker Sajem Ali Sheikh, who was reported missing for the past few days, was found in Beldanga area of the district on Saturday.

“Since the Trinamool Congress government came to power, 81 party workers and leaders have been killed by activists of the ruling party and the Congress,” Mr. Bose said, adding there was an overall deterioration of law and order in the State.

The Congress workers were angry with Sheikh after a massive rally was organised in support of party’s by-election candidate Muzaffar Hossain in Nabagram, Mr. Bose said.

He raised questions about the role of the police, stating that no arrests had been made so far in connection with the murder, just like in the previous incidents where CPI(M) workers were attacked.

“I appeal to the people of Jangipur to isolate the Congress party to defeat the politics of killing,” Mr. Bose said.

He also urged to the Election Commission to ensure peaceful polls in the Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency on Wednesday.

The Lok Sabha seat fell vacant in July after the elevation of former Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as President. His son Abhijit Mukherjee is contesting from the seat as the Congress candidate.