KOLKATA: IN a horrific attack on CPI(M) activists, who were coming to join a rally protesting attack on senior Party leader Abdur Rezzak Mollah, Trinamool Congress goons indiscriminately fired and burnt the vehicles carrying people. The gruesome incident took place in Bamanghata, in the outskirts of Kolkata on January 8, 2013. At least three CPI(M) activists with serious bullet injuries have been admitted in hospital while some more received grievous injuries. Fourteen trucks and mini trucks were burnt and twenty more were ransacked. The entire attack was led by Arabul Islam, a TMC strongman and former MLA, the prime accused in the attack on Rezzak Mollah.
Member of the West Bengal state committee of CPI(M), veteran leader of the peasant movement, former minister and sitting MLA of Canning East constituency, Abdur Rezzak Mollah was assaulted and beaten up by a group of Trinamool Congress hooligans, at Bhangar in South 24 Parganas district on Sunday, January 6, 2013.
Hundreds of people from Bhangar and adjoining areas in South 24 Parganas were coming to a rally in Kolkata to demand the arrest of Arabul. TMC activists were well prepared for the attack. Eye witnesses told media that Arabul himself started firing from his revolver and then TMC activists began to fire forcing people to run for shelter. TMC activists chased the people and started burning vehicles one after another.
And there was no sign of their intervention. Even fire tenders reached much later. That the whole attack was pre-planned was proved by the fact that as soon as firing began, a group of TMC activists blocked the road with stones and other obstacles. Some injured fled to villages and could not be brought to hospital till evening.
Three seriously injured persons are Sujit Das, Hasim Ali Mollah and Maidul Mollah. Some more sustained injuries from bullet, bombs and bricks. Veteran teacher and CPI(M) leader Kanti Majumdar was forced to remain at the spot with injuries for two hours when he was rescued.
Meanwhile, thousands of people marched to Alipore in Kolkata, the headquarters of South 24 Parganas district administration at the call of Left Front. The rally was called to demand arrest of Arabul Islam and other criminals who attacked Rezzak Mollah on Sunday. In the huge rally, Left Front leaders including Suryakanta Misra, opposition leader, criticised the state government for allowing mayhem in the state. Left Front leaders met Superintendent of Police and asked his explanation for not arresting the criminals. Left Front legislators joined the rally. Later, Left Front leaders also met Governor and complained about the role of state administration.
Left Front chairman Biman Basu condemned the attack in Bamanghata, saying the democracy in the state is now under threat. Left Front organised processions all over the state, including a central rally in Kolkata on January 9.
In the Writers Building, the state secretariat, industries minister Partha Chatterjee defended the attack on CPI(M) but hurried to flee away from media persons without answering any questions. In blatant exercise of arrogance Chatterjee even praised Arabul as an “energetic boy”.
Rezzak Mollah was attacked when he went to visit a CPI(M) office which was ransacked and burnt down by the TMC goons on Saturday. Arabul Islam himself along with other miscreants attacked him. The senior leader was hit on the eye, lips and stomach. His vehicle was also badly damaged. The local Party comrades rescued him. He was admitted to a private nursing home. The state administration, in the most inhuman manner, pressurised the hospital to discharge Rezzak Mollah even before he was treated properly. On Monday, the hospital authorities declared that except stitches in the inner portion of his mouth, there is no injury to Rezzak. But in a great embarrassment for them, the scan report of the same hospital showed on Tuesday that he had a fracture in his waist. He was advised to stay in the hospital.
CPI(M) state secretary Biman Basu said that the Party strongly condemned the “barbaric” attack on Rezzak Mollah. Describing the incident as the latest instance of the continuing violence by Trinamool Congress against CPI(M), the Left parties and the opposition, he pointed out that the democratic rights of individuals are under constant threat in the state and demanded immediate arrest of TMC goons responsible for the incident.
Instead of condemning the horrific attack, the TMC leader and state urban development minister Firhad Hakim said the incident was a minor one. He, in a way, sought to legitimise the attack. This has become a regular phenomenon in the state - where the ruling party and the administration always protect the attackers instead of the attacked persons. Attacks on CPI(M) workers and extortion from them are on the rise. The TMC leaders perhaps have understood that if they allow people’s voice to spread then that will be disastrous for them in the coming panchayat polls in West Bengal.