NANDIGRAM, May 12: At a time when frayed tempers had reached a flashpoint yesterday following a molestation charge levelled against the DIG, CRPF, Mr Alok Raj, by the “women’s brigade” of the CPI-M, party functionaries got into the act quickly. They kept out his name from the official complaint lodged with Nandigram police yesterday, though publicly CPI-M supporters are keeping the pressure on the DIG. The women were reportedly “advised” to frame Mr Raj’s subordinate officers on the molestation charge as it would be more “believable”. Accordingly, Mr PK Chettri, commandant, Mr Prem Kumar Sigh, assistant commandant, Mr Kisan Singh, Inspector of CRPF and some CRPF jawans were named in the FIR.
“We never said that Mr Raj was directly involved in the molestation charge. We have accused him of instructing his subordinates to physically harass and beat up our women cadres. Instead of maintaining law and order, these CRPF men intentionally tortured our workers,” said Mr Ashok Guria, a district secretariat member of the CPI-M. According to CPI-M leaders, the complaint was lodged with the O-C, Nandigram, Mr Debasish Chakraborty, around 4.30 a.m. yesterday, though the alleged CRPF raid and the subsequent molestation had occurred around 4.30 p.m. on Saturday. Along with the three women ~ including a CPI-M gram panchayat candidate ~ who had brought the molestation charge against the CRPF personnel, two other persons, Mr Saktipada Manna and Mr Rameswar Paul, had also affixed their signatures on the complaint.
When the CPI-M gram panchayat candidate was asked about the charges that she had levelled against Mr Raj, she said: “I won’t say anything about the matter to you. The party will say everything. And what the party had instructed me, I only followed.” Asked whether she underwent any medical treatment, she remained tightlipped.
Coming down heavily on the CPI-M’s tactic to rein in the CRPF DIG, Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) leader Mr Abu Taher said: “The CPI-M tried to stop Mr Alok Raj from taking any action in order to restore peace in the trouble-torn villages of Nandigram by framing him on a false charge. But, they will not be able to do it because the people of Nandigram are with Mr Raj and the CRPF. The CPI-M leadership admitted the complainants in the FIR to the Kamarda and Haldia BC Ray Hospitals last night, more than 24 hours after the alleged incident, which speaks a lot about the truth in their statements,” Mr Taher alleged. Mr Rakesh Gupta, IG (western range), who was to initiate the probe today, reached the Nandigram police station this afternoon and spoke to the police officers there.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008