Saturday, May 24, 2008

Violence being perpetrated by both parties in Nandigram post-elections

Trinamul targets CPM ‘tormentor’ in Nandi Man killed on way to work
Nandigram, May 23: A CPM supporter accused of leading attacks on Opposition houses was beaten and hacked to de- ath by nearly 100 triumphant Trinamul Congress supporters in a Nandigram village this morning.
Sheikh Khalek Mullick, 27, had set off for his workplace in Haldia around 8am.
“Like other days, he was going on a cycle to the Kendamari ferry ghat, from where he took the boat to Haldia,” said his cousin Shantu, 25.
When he had travelled 3km to Hajrakata, the Trinamul supporters attacked him.
“They first thrashed him and then hacked him. The ve- ins above his heels were severed,” said Shantu.
According to witnesses, about 20 Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee supporters had surrounded Khalek initi-ally but the number swelled in no time as many women and other villagers joined them.
CPM supporters called police. They reached around 9am and took an unconscious Khalek to the block hospital. Khalek was then referred to the district hospital in Tamluk, where he died after admission.
This is the first death in clashes in Nandigram, about 165km from Calcutta, since the CPM’s armed recapture of the area last November.
Khalek, a resident of Garchakraberia, worked as a security guard at a private company in Haldia.
The villagers were “angry” with him, said Abu Taher, a newly elected Trinamul panchayat samiti member.
“He had led CPM cadres to Jadubarichar village on Wednesday. They looted houses of our supporters and beat them up. The villagers saw Khalek today and could not keep their calm,” said Taher, also a Pratirodh Committee convener.
He also alleged that Khalek was armed.
The police recovered a pipe gun from the spot, but could not confirm if it belonged to Khalek.
Several CPM leaders, including local committee secretary Sheikh Shahidullah, reached Hajrakata around the time the police and the CRPF made it there. Nearly 500 Pratirodh Committee supporters surrounded them and set Shahidullah’s motorcycle on fire.
The police looked on and Khalek’s transfer to hospital got delayed.
Pratirodh Committee supporters also went on the rampage at Dakshin Kanchannagar village, a kilometre away, and ransacked and looted about a dozen houses belonging to CPM supporters. Two CPM supporters were beaten up and had to be admitted to the Reyapara block hospital.
“We have decided to organise all-party peace meetings in Nandigram police station and at the village level,” said East Midnapore superintendent of police S.S. Panda.
An all-party meeting was held at the police station this evening.
Trinamul, CPM and SUCI leaders attended but not anyone from the Congress.
That the tables had turned on the CPM became apparent when party district secretariat member Ashok Guria accused Trinamul of “unleashing a reign of terror” in the area.
The party called a 12-hour bandh in Nandigram blocks I and II on Monday in protest against the murder of Khalek.

Lady kicked, baby at riskOUR CORRESPONDENT
Burdwan, May 23: Alleged CPM supporters stormed the house of a Trinamul Congress village panchayat candidate today and beat him, his pregnant wife and mother.
Rakhi Majhi, 35, who is four months pregnant, was shoved to the ground and kicked in the stomach at Belsar village in Burdwan’s Raina. She runs the risk of losing her child.
Trinamul candidate Pareshnath Majhi’s fault was that he had demanded a recounting in writing from the district magistrate after he lost the Hijalna seat to the CPM.
A gynaecologist at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, where Rakhi has been admitted, said: “We are desperately trying to save the baby.”
Dr A. Ghosh, however, added: “We are very worried, the patient has injuries in her lower abdomen.”
Pareshnath and his mother Sandhya, 60, have also been hospitalised.
Rakhi said she was busy in chores around 8am when nine persons, on three motorcycles, stopped in front of her house, about 120km from Calcutta. “I knew four of them. They called my husband.”
“As soon he came out, they hurled abuses at him, dragged him towards the gate and started beating him up. I rushed to stop them but they threw me to the ground and kicked me in the stomach. When my mother-in-law jumped to my rescue, they pushed her hard. She fell and became unconscious.”
District Trinamul vice-president Susanta Ghosh has lodged a complaint with district superintendent of police Peeyush Pandey.
“We have detained three persons,” Pandey said.
Amirul Islam, who had worked as an election agent for a Congress candidate, was beaten up at Belgram village in Ketugram last night. “Ketugram police refused to accept my complaint,” said Amirul, who has also been admitted to the medical college hospital.
In Nadia, Trinamul supporter Satyajit Bala, 40, was beaten up and hacked in Chapra, allegedly because he had re- fused to work for the CPM during the elections.