Calcutta, Jan. 6: An influential member of the CPM’s South 24-Parganas district committee, Sattar Mollah, was arrested today on charges of murder and extortion.
The arrest from Bhangore created a flutter and the administration wasted not time in deploying the Rapid Action Force (RAF) to pre-empt violence.
Last year, CPM zonal committee member Hakim Mollah was arrested from the Gosaba area in the district on the same charges. He is still lodged in jail.
Both police and district CPM leaders were cautious about their comments on Sattar’s arrest.
The area had been tense since the murder of Alaluddin Mollah, a branch committee member of the CPM, on Friday.
When Mollah went to the Calcutta Leather Complex police station to “discuss local problems” with the officer in-charge today, a warrant was slapped on him. The CPM leader tried to hurry out of the police station with the men accompanying him but was rounded up after a brief chase and a mini scuffle.
Mollah was produced in the court of the sub-divisional judicial magistrate at Alipore and remanded in jail custody till January 20.
District CPM secretary Shantimoy Bhattacharya said Sattar was arrested when he went to the police station for “some official work”. “Hakim Mollah was a suspended member of the party, but Sattar is a serving member,” Bhattacharya added.
“We cannot say under what charges he was arrested. However, we will not interfere with the inquiry,” said Bhattacharya.
A party functionary said about 20 cases are pending against Sattar.
A senior police official said Sattar was arrested today in connection with several cases. He was wanted for his alleged involvement in the murder of Yusuf Mollah, a local CPM leader, seven years ago. Several cases of extortion from the brick kilns in the area were also hanging fire. Sattar used collect money from the brick field-owners in the name of the CPM, sources said.
District superintendent of police Deb Kumar Ganguly said: “We are investigating all the cases in which he was involved. We are also looking into the recent murders in the area to ascertain if he had a role in them.”
Ananda Marg arrests
Two members of the Ananda Marg sect were arrested from their headquarters in Purulia on charges of assaulting two others.
Acharya Nigmananda Avadoot, 55, and Acharya Vandananda Avadoot, 60, have been remanded in jail custody, said superintendent of police V.K. Goyal.
Sudha Karmananda Avadoot and Satyaranjan Das were beaten up for distributing pamphlets that were allegedly against the teachings of the cult’s founder.