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December 19, 2010

Page: 7/32

Home > 2010 Issues > December 19, 2010

News From the West Bengal

CPM is jittery over coming Assembly polls

By Asim Kumar Mitra

44 CPM members and leaders got life imprisonment for killing 11 persons.

Of late, it is noticed that the courts of West Bengal have shown courage by pronouncing judgments against the culprits belonging to the Left conglomerate led by CPI (M). Initially, when the Left Front government took over the charge, they had adopted a policy of intimidating judges by transferring them to remote places, whenever they pronounce a judgment against any criminal belonging to ruling party.

THE Judiciary has boosted up the morale of not only Trinamool Congress (TMC) but also the hopes of Opposition have gone up. The latest judgment of Nanoor (under district Birbhum) murder case of 11 land-labourers, supporters of TMC, by the Additional District and Sessions Judge Biswanath Konar has made the CPI (M) stand in dock today. After ten long years of the brutal murder of eleven land-labourers, all the 44 accused persons belonging to CPI (M) got life imprisonment. The family members of victims waiting outside the court premises for the pronouncement of judgment, demanded "An eye for an eye. A life for a life." Though their demand was not fulfilled yet they feel happy for the simple reason that the culprits got punishment. Nevertheless, death sentence would be the right punishment, at least for few of them.

The murder had taken place in Suchpur, a village in Nanoor Sub Division of Birbhum district. "The 11 who were killed on July 27, 2000, were first held captive in a room and brutally murdered, one by one. We cannot even imagine the agony they went through," said Mosaraf Ali brother of Asraf Ali who was one of the 11 victims. He further said, "My mother, who cries every day, says that at last 11 should be sentenced to death. We will take the fight to a higher court so that the convicts never get any breather."

There was a feeling among the relatives of the convicts that the accused had been let down by the party (CPM). One of the convicts who got life imprisonment said, "He had to sell three bighas of his farmland to meet the expense of the court case. The party (CPM) did not help out with money. He has no means left to fight in high court." On the other hand, Dilip Ganguly, the district secretary of CPM, put up a brave face. "We will stand by those who have been convicted. They need not worry about the legal expenses or their families’ livelihood. We will provide all necessary help. They were not convicted for their individual interest. So our party will provide them with whatever financial assistance is required," he said. The CPM leader admitted that there was a lot of bitterness among grassroots level party workers in this case. "We do not think that the case was handled properly. We don’t know how we can win back their confidence before the Assembly election," he said.

Of late, it is noticed that the courts of West Bengal have shown courage by pronouncing judgments against the culprits belonging to the Left conglomerate led by CPI (M). Initially, when the Left Front government took over the charge, they had adopted a policy of intimidating judges by transferring them to remote places, whenever they pronounce a judgment against any criminal belonging to ruling party. Transfer of Justice Amitabha Lala and Justice Barin Ghosh of Calcutta High Court to Andaman and to hill areas of the State, had created great commotion. But nothing could be done about them.

But the other judges had ignored this intimidation of the ruling party and never compromised with the law. The glaring example of this attitude was the judgment about the Nandigram incident. On March 14, 2007, the police had opened fire against the innocent villagers who had put up anti-government agitation, and killed 14 of them. On November 16, 2007 Kolkata High Court declared the March 14 police firing as "unconstitutional" and ordered a CBI probe. On December 13, 2007, Supreme Court rejected the State’s plea to keep CBI out of the probe. On October 2010, Supreme Court asked the State government not to be selective in paying compensation as they were indulging in such acts while abiding by the order of Kolkata High Court in this regard.

On November 11, 2008, a Chandernagore (under Hooghly district) court found Suhrid Dutta, CPM’s former Singur zonal committee secretary, and Debu Malik, a party supporter, guilty in the Tapasi Malik rape and murder case. This case also had created great reaction among the people against Left Front government.

Very recently, on November 12, 2010, Kolkata High Court passed an order asking total ban on cow slaughter on the eve of Bakrid against the appeal of State government. The Kolkata High Court Bench comprised of Chief Justice JN Patel and Justice Ashim Kumar Ray said in the judgment, "The authorities are, therefore, bound to implement the provision of West Bengal Animal Slaughter (Control) Act, 1950 and if any instance of cow slaughter on Bakrid is brought to their notice, they will have to take cognisance and act in accordance with law." This is again a very bold judgment in the face of open intimidation by the State government.

Of course, flouting of court order has become an order of the day with the State government. For example, just after the Left Front had assumed power of the State government, Justice Bhagwati Prasad Banerjee of Kolkata High Court passed an order in early eighties to demolish a multi-storied mosque illegally built on the land of a Shiva temple in Muslim dominated Rajabazar area of central Kolkata. The then Chief Minister Jyoti Basu refused to implement this order and nothing could be done at that time simply because the whole State was traumatised by the terrorism of the ruling party cadres.

When this Left Front government assumed power in 1977, they had launched a reign of terror and in the process they had indulged in ghastly ‘Sain Bari (House of Sain) murder case’ where they had not only butchered the family members, they did not spare even children. After murdering one of the sons, the goons had sprinkled blood on face of the helpless slain-mother. This brutality could not be imagined. Those who were involved in this murder case had been enjoying Cabinet level ministerial post and other important government posts. So long, the family members were languishing for justice and the State government had been just laughing away even the call of their own conscience, so inhuman and brutal was there attitude!

Very recently, some people were trying to revive the case of Sain Bari in Supreme Court in the form of Public Interest Litigation (PIL). It is reported that when the documents were called for by the Supreme Court the State government informed no document on this case was available in government offices or concerned police stations and headquarters. Aggrieved parties allege that those documents have been destroyed by the ruling party itself to hush up the proofs of those misdeeds. It is further reported that the court has sought for newspaper clippings of this news from different newspapers to establish the truth regarding the Sain Bari case.

"There are many other misdeeds of the Left Front government which should also be taken up by the court"-opined a TMC leader. Following are the infamous acts of the ruling party:

    1978: The ruling party first invited the refugees of East Bengal who were settled in Dandakaranya, to come to West Bengal on their assuming power in the State. According to the promise of the ruling party, they came to West Bengal. When they actually landed in Marichjhanpi, in North 24 Parganas District, within a few weeks cadres of CPM had started beating up these people, set on fire their camps, many were killed and injured and ultimately hounded them out of the State. Till date no justice has been done to them.

  1. 1979: Police opened fire in Kolkata Port area and killed at least 6 agitating port workers.

  2. 1982: 18 Anandamargis were killed by the CPM cadres in the open daylight by setting fire on their body. This incident took place on the Bijon Setu Bridge.

  3. 1986: Agriculturists of Krishnanagar, Nadia were engaged in a movement to get power supply in the area. Police opened fire without provocation and killed two.

  4. 1990: CPM cadres had raped and molested many women and they killed two health workers including Anita Dewan. This incident took place in Bantala, Kolkata.

  5. 1993: Under the order of the government police had killed 13 Youth Congress members by firing on the streets of Kolkata.

  6. 1998-2001: Keshpur, Garhbeta, Pingla etc. villages of West Midnapore district were made killing fields of CPM for those who do not toe their line. Many have been killed. Actual figures were not available.

  7. 2001: Ruling party cadres had killed 11 supporters of TMC by setting fire on their bodies. This was happened in Chhota Angaria of West Midnapore district.

  8. 2006: 6 supporters of Forward Bloc had been killed in Police firing in Dinhata of Coachbehar district of North Bengal.

The incidents of Tapasi Malik (who was first gang-raped and then murdered) and the barbarity of CPM-led Left Front government in Nandigram of West Midnapore district has already been mentioned. These incidents took place in 2006 and 2007 consecutively. There are many such incidents inflicted by the ruling party on their opponents and now they have really become apprehensive of court’s action against them.

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