Vol. XLIII No. 20 May 19, 2019
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WEST BENGAL: CPI(M) Worker Protesting Vote Loot Killed

CPI(M) worker from West Bengal, Comrade Sk Kamrul, was killed  and five others were grievously injured after members of Trinamool Congress (TMC) assaulted them at Khandaghosh in East Burdwan district on May 5. They were attacked for organising a protest against the ‘vote loot’, the capturing of election booths by the ruling party, in Khandaghosh, Bishnupur Lok Sabha constituency, where elections would be held on May 12.

Growing resistance against vote loot has become a striking phenomenon of this election in West Bengal. People have come out in large numbers to vote and overcame the machinations of the armed gangs of the TMC in most of the places.

The news of Comrade Sk Kamrul’s death triggered mass remonstrance and hundreds of people blocked the road at Nischintapur in Khandaghosh and demanded that the culprits be arrested immediately. The police came to the spot and owing to public pressure, arrested the main accused, Sk Hasanujjaman and four other goons.

The issue brewed when the locals informed the police that CPI(M) workers and supporters were being threatened and attacked as the movement against the organised vote loot was gaining momentum. A protest rally was organised against the vote loot at Anri in Khandaghosh on May 7. As soon as the news of this rally spread out, local MLA of TMC, Nabin Nag and block president Aparthib Islam instigated their goons to go for the final attack on May 5 to discourage the protest rally.

Martyred Comrade Sk Kamrul was the brother of Sk Naser Ali, CPI(M)’s branch secretary at Alipur. With Sk Kamrul at the front to lead people’s protest, he had become the main target of the local Trinamool party leaders.

On May 5th night, when Kamrul was returning home after praying at a local mosque in Anri, a group of Trinamool cadres ambushed him in the dark. The locals who tried to rescue him were also attacked. This left him and five others grievously injured. First they were brought to First Aid Centre and later Kamrul was transferred to Bardhaman Medical College Hospital where he succumbed to the injuries on May 8.

CPI(M) leaders Amal Halder and Uday Sarkar rushed to the hospital as soon as they got the news of his death. Secretary of East Bardhaman district committee of CPI(M), Achintya Mallick condemned the murder and demanded that all those goons named in the FIR be arrested immediately and meted out exemplary punishment.  He also demanded that the local Trinamool MLA Nabin Nag and Block president Aparthib Islam be arrested for being the mastermind behind the murder.