June 01, 2014


From Our Special Correspondent

AFTER the Lok Sabha polls were over in West Bengal, post-poll attacks have reached alarming proportions in almost all districts of the state. At least three CPI(M) activists and sympathisers have been killed in these attack while another, a student, succumbed to the physical and psychological trauma after attack. Several members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) and former MLAs have been assaulted. A number of party offices have also been attacked, ransacked, destroyed and burnt. More than 1000 Left supporters have been injured in these attacks. Several hundreds have been forced to leave their villages in the face of such violence. Suryakanta Misra, leader of opposition in the West Bengal legislative assembly, has written a letter to the state chief minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, to immediately bring to a halt such attacks by the ruling party people and to restore peace in the state. Following are some of the major incidents that have taken place in the state post poll. MURDERS Bela Dey, aged 65, breathed her last in Kalyani Hospital on May 13, following a physical attack on her on May 11 night. On the eve of the May 12 polling, goons belonging to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) had entered her house in Chakdaha Thakur Colony and attacked her two sons who were working as CPI(M) volunteers during the elections. Their mother tried to save them and she too was beaten up, causing her serious injuries. Bela Dey still went to vote. Her health deteriorated fast. She was hospitalised and expired on the following day. Just after declaration of the results, TMC goons attacked the house of Kajal Mallik (45) in Manteswar of Burdwan. He was forcibly taken out and brutally beaten to death. Even his dead body remained there untouched for hours because of the TMC threat. In Bohula village in Ketugram in Burdwan district, villagers resisted the loot of votes on the polling day. TMC gangs tried to capture the booths but failed. As a result the CPI(M) candidate took a lead from the area. On May 21, armed TMC gang attacked the village. The house of the AIKS area secretary, Enayet Karim, was attacked. TMC goons attempted to kill Karim when Ashmira Begam, his wife and two times elected panchayat member, tried to stop the attackers. The goons severely stabbed her, causing her death. In Bhagat Singh Colony in Jadavpur, TMC goons attacked the house of Rabindranath Banerjee. He was not there in the house and the hoodlums physically tortured his aged mother and his daughter, Moumita Banerjee. Moumita, a student of class 12, became seriously ill and expired after she was admitted to a hospital. WEST MIDNAPORE On May 12 night, TMC goons attacked Radhanagar village in Khragpur rural block. They mercilessly ransacked and destroyed 15 houses in this tribal dominant village. In Keshpur, 150 families, who were forced to leave the villages, returned to vote. Their houses were attacked and they were forced to flee again. Attacks took place in Kanchantala, Jhalka, Ayodhyabar and other villages. In Kespur itself, 10 party offices were attacked and four of them burnt. About 1700 people were forced to leave their houses. More than 150 houses were attacked. The zonal office of the CPI(M) in Goaltore was destroyed. Rameswar Dolui, MLA, was attacked. SOUTH 24 PARGANAS At Basanti in South 24 Parganas, TMC goons attacked the houses of Left supporters and even beat up Suraiya Laskar, a pregnant woman. In Jibantala, 12 houses of CPI(M) supporters were ransacked. In Raidighi, a number of CPI(M) supporters were attacked and hospitalised. In Kulpi, CPI(M) activists were attacked in the night before the counting; six of them were seriously injured and had to be hospitalised. KOLKATA Post-poll violence has affected 10 AC areas in three different PCs --- Kolkata Uttar, Kolkata Dakshin and Jadavpur. As many as 17 party offices at zonal and local levels have been attacked and damaged; 12 offices of mass organisations or clubs sympathetic to the Left Front have been ransacked. Physical assaults on many individuals have been reported, including 10 Left Front workers and one Left Front councillor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation upon whom a bomb was thrown. Because of attacks, 11 houses of party supporters and workers have been damaged and/or looted. One of them, in Ward No 99, was attacked by TMC workers coming from elsewhere; they were resisted by women of the locality. This attack was criticised even by local TMC people. Three shops and business establishments of Left supporters were forcibly closed down to rob them of their livelihood. Two persons living in Behala East AC were forced to leave the locality. Numerous false cases have been filed against Left Front workers. Of them, 29 are in Wards No 9 and 17 alone. The CPI(M)’s zonal office in Kasba in South Kolkata was attacked, as was party office in Ward No 55. Just after the declaration of the result, numerous offices of the CPI(M) were ransacked in Beleghata, Kashipur and Maniktala areas. In Kankurgachi, a charitable health centre was destroyed. Several CPI(M) workers were attacked. Forward Bloc councillor’s house in Beleghata was attacked. NORTH 24 PARGANAS At Naihati in North 24 Parganas, several houses of CPI(M) activists were attacked. Those attacked included a former army-man. In Patipukur, TMC goons attacked the youth of the area who had worked for the CPI(M) and at least ten people were severely injured. After the results, party offices were ransacked in Jagaddal, Garulia, Shyamnagar. Office of the IPTA in Barrackpore was destroyed. In Manirampur, family members of Subhasish Basu, a CPI(M) worker, were severely beaten. In Basirhat, the house of elected panchayat member Shanti Sadhak was attacked and his daughter-in-law faced molestation. In Habra, four offices of the CITU were forcibly occupied. EAST MIDNAPORE In Patashpur, Khejuri in East Midnapore CPI(M) activists were attacked before the counting took place. HOOGHLY In Arambagh, poultry farm of a CPI(M) leader, Prabhat Roy, was burnt on the eve of the vote counting. As the results came in, TMC goons attacked the CPI(M)’s Hooghly and Chuchura zonal committee offices. Former MP Rupchand Pal, CPI(M) state committee member Mitali Kumar and Left Front candidate in Hooghly parliamentary constituency Pradip Saha were rescued narrowly. The CPI(M) office was ransacked. Party offices in Chandan Nagar and Konnagar were attacked subsequently. Houses of numerous CPI(M) activists were attacked, including the house of DYFI state Leader Paramita Saha. In Arambagh, houses of CPI(M) leader and former MLA Benoy Datta and party leader Mozammel Hossain were attacked. CPI(M) local committee secretary Sandip Samanta was beaten up in Purshura. Party office was burnt at Nakunda in Goghat and in Khanakul West. In Arambagh, 24 houses were ransacked. Numerous offices of the DYFI and AIDWA were burnt. HOWRAH Nine Left Front supporters have been beaten up by TMC miscreants in different villages under Udaynarayanpur police station. Also, 25 houses where Left Front supporters live have been attacked, robbed, furniture and utensil damaged --- 12 of them are under Udaynarayanpur police station, 11 under Amta police station, and one each under Uluberia police station and Malipanchghara police station. In Uluberia, the house of CPI(M) worker Asif was attacked; women offered resistance here. In another attack, Naba Das, a CPI(M) worker was attacked in Uluberia and his left eye has been damaged. In Malipanchghara, the house of a local CPI(M) leader was attacked twice within an hour on May 16; doors, windows and furniture were badly damaged with lathis and iron rods. The goons also took away a bag 5,000 rupees. One CPI(M) office, one CITU office, one Kisan Sabha office and one DYFI office were ransacked. One martyrs column at Parijat crossing was destroyed. Each of these attacks was led by TMC workers and miscreants. The incidents have been reported to the police station concerned. DARJEELING In Phulbari, offices of CPI(M) and some mass organisations were ransacked. The CPI(M) local committee office (Phulbari No 2) was first attacked and damaged on May 16 and then razed to the ground with a payloader by TMC men on May 21. They also put up TMC flags there. Party leaders went to the spot to demonstrate and lodged a complaint. Former minister Ashok Bhattacharya, Jibesh Sarkar and other leaders went on hunger strike, demanding removal of TMC flags and arrest of the culprits. Under pressure, the police removed the TMC flags. But the hunger strike went on until three culprits were arrested on May 24. JALPAIGURI TMC violence took place in Jalpaiguri Sadar and other parts of the district. At least eight party activists were injured, including party leader and former MP Jiten Das. Many shops and establishments were damaged, looted and forcibly closed, six in Rajganj police station area alone. Autos and small trucks belonging to Left supporters were not allowed to ply. Many people were forcibly prevented from going to work. Workers in tea gardens and orchards were specially affected. Eight or nine small and medium sized traditional tea gardens, three of them in Rajganj police station area, drove away those loyal to the red flag, with the owners supporting the TMC hoodlums. In the district, 12 workers of Sonamukhi Tea Estate, two workers of Rong Tea Company, 12 workers in orchards, seven workers of Dooars plantation and four workers of hatcheries were attacked, and threats were doled to drive them out. In Lataguri in Jalpaiguri a book bank was destroyed. Rajganj zonal office of the CPI(M) was ransacked on May 22. COOCHBEHAR Among offices belonging to the Left Front parties which were occupied, looted or damaged, there are CPI(M) and AIFB offices in Sadar Uttar area, of CPI(M) local committee No 1 at Mahishkuchi, Baxirhat, five more offices in New Matha Bhanga. The CITU office was forcibly occupied at Panishla No 4. Electricity was disconnected in two booth areas of Panishala. In Sitalkuchi area, property worth more than 11 lakh rupees was lost when shops, establishments and equipment were looted and paddy forcibly harvested. At Gosairhat, 30 bighas of land with boro paddy could not be harvested because the Trinamool people prevented the farmers from doing so. At Bhaberhat, resistance to similar prevention resulted in injuries of two peasants who are now hospitalised. In Shikarpur GP and Jorapatki GP, 140 shops have been looted and locked up. TMC leaders went from house to house in Shikarpur GP demanding fat amounts per family, ranging from 15,000 to 1,25,000 rupees. In Hazrahat-1 GP, the party flag has been replaced by TMC flag in the CPI(M) local office. In Bairagirhat GP, comrades are being pressurised for money and prevented from going out to the market. Fines totalling 2,60,000 rupees have been demanded from 11 families in Phoolbari. In Coochbehar block 1 area, extensive damages to property worth 69,28,000 rupees were caused by TMC attackers. In Coochbehar Sadar Dakshin Zone, 34 persons have been driven out of their homes. In Tufanganj area, 79 people have been forcibly confined to their homes and prevented from working in the fields or harvesting or opening their shops. In Phoolbari, CPI(M) activist Ranjit Burman was taken out from a neighbour’s house and brutally beaten. He was hospitalised in a serious condition. BURDWAN Two CPI(M) workers, including a woman, have been martyred after the polling --- Kajol Seikh (45) of Bastepota village under Memari police station and Ashmira Begum, a former panchayat member, of Muhul village under Ketugram police station. Six others were seriously injured in the Muhul incident. As many as 42 others were injured in brutal attacks by TMC workers; many of them had to be hospitalised. Ten persons were injured on May 17 when the Kanksa zonal office of the CPI(M) at Panagarh was attacked thrice. They include members of the CPI(M)’s Burdwan district committee and its secretariat. Each incident was reported to the police. No arrests were made. The attack on the livelihood of Left Front supporters is widespread in the district. Forcible closure of shops and establishments, peasants forcibly being prevented from going to their land for agricultural work, milkmen being prevented from selling milk (leading to great wastage of milk) and the looting of goods worth four lakh rupees from a shop in Khandaghosh police station area are all part of the TMC programme of starving people to death. Poorer sections and women have been special targets. At Hatgobindapur village, women were molested by TMC men and policemen together. Among numerous houses looted and damaged, there are the two houses of former MLAs Tapas Chatterjee and Samar Hazra. The CPI(M)’s Raina and Khandagosh zonal committee offices were ransacked. These two offices were destroyed and partly burnt before the elections too. At Gourdanga in Katwa police station, a wedding ceremony was attacked by TMC miscreants on May 25; CPI(M) workers were beaten up and women molested. Two were hospitalised, including a woman. Though a complaint has been filed, no one has been arrested. BIRBHUM On May 19, two groups of tribals clashed in Ward No 17 of Rampurhat town. The TMC people supported one of the sides and lodged false cases against several people, with the commissioner of the ward Sanjib Mondal heading the list, though he was actually trying for peace. It is worth notice that Mallik had been returned on a hammer and sickle symbol while the CPI(M) candidate for Lok Sabha too had a comfortable lead in this ward. Tension still persists here. Five GP areas in the Dubrajpur Zone are affected by TMC attacks. Several villages have been attacked; ordinary people have been beaten up and threatened. In Mirul village under Loba GP, one man was abducted, taken to the Trinamool office and beaten. On May 18, Rampur village under Jashpur GP was attacked, tubewells were destroyed, women were beaten up and a temple gate was damaged. In Paduma GP, the villages with tribal population are specially targeted. PASCHIM MEDINIPUR Since the declaration of Lok Sabha poll results, 27 offices of the CPI(M) in the district have been ransacked, four of them set on fire and nine occupied. Nearly 1300 people have been beaten and ransom extracted from them; 200 houses have been damaged and looted; 2,300 persons have been driven away from home; 36 peasants are not allowed to till their land; 125 people have been forced to shut down their shops or business establishments. Many people are not being allowed to go to their workplaces.