The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kamtapur bandh threat

Siliguri, Dec. 7: The Kamtapur People’s Party has threatened a North Bengal bandh next week to protest against its president Atul Roy’s detention.

Roy was detained at Salkumar in Jalpaiguri last evening. “We will paralyse life in North Bengal if the administration can’t ensure that the fundamental rights of Rajbangshis are safeguarded,” he said.

Roy claimed police had deliberately restricted his movements at Pradhanpara in Salkumar, where he was staying at a supporter’s house.

He said he was there for the formation of KPP’s Jalpaiguri district committee. The outfit has been trying hard to revamp its Jalpaiguri unit to revive the flagging Kamtapur movement.

Senior district police officers said Roy was “targeted” because he was staying with Kashi Katahari, a suspected linkman of the militant Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO).

Police have been following Roy’s movements ever since they found some letters which revealed his connection with KLO bosses. Inspector-general of police (north) Bhupinder Singh said Roy’s visit to Katahari was reason enough for the police to detain and question him.

“There were more problems for the police because Roy did not want to disclose his identity in the first place,” Singh said.

The KPP plans a dharna at Jalpaiguri divisional commissioner Debaditya Chakrabarty’s office on Wednesday. The outfit may seek the administration’s intervention in what it dubs “police excesses” in large parts of Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar.

The KPP has also convened an emergency central committee meeting on Tuesday to assess the situation.

“The 11-member central committee,” Roy said, “will meet to chart out the KPP’s future action in the face of heightened police atrocities.

“What happened to me last evening was a testimony to ordinary Rajbangshis’ insecurity in North Bengal. All along we had been clear on our party’s official stance that the KPP does not maintain links with the KLO.”

Roy said he would go ahead with programmes to reconstitute the district committees at Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar, after discussions at the central committee meeting.

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