The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Salt Lake civic body rocked by assault

A quarrel last week between a Trinamul Congress councillor and some contractors of Salt Lake municipality has triggered a controversy in the civic body. With the woman councillor informing the police and the chairman of Bidhannagar Municipality, the two contractors’ associations will meet on Tuesday to decide on the course of action.

Trouble erupted last Wednesday, when Minu Chakraborty, Trinamul councillor from ward 20, had an exchange of words with Ramen Dutta, representing Dutta Constructions, awarded the tender for annual maintenance of ward 20. Later on Thursday, Dutta was beaten up by councillor Chakraborty’s secretary.

“The secretary beat me up severely at Poura Bhavan when I protested against some remarks of his. Later, the councillor came down and she, too, hit my brother, who is handicapped,” Dutta said on Sunday.

He alleged that Chakraborty had asked him to carry out a repair job in her ward and warned him of severe consequences if he did not do it immediately. “I have informed our association of the assault,” Dutta said.

“The incident was unfortunate and we will sit on Tuesday to decide on submitting a deputation to the municipality chairman,” said Biswanath Sarkar, secretary of the Salt Lake Democratic Civil Contractors’ Association. Bablu Bar, secretary of Bidhannagar Contractors’ General Association, another body of contractors, said it would consider a cease-work at ward 20 in protest against the assault.

Dilip Gupta, municipality chairman, said he had received the complaint and would probe it. “These incidents should not occur. I am looking into the matter,” Gupta said on Sunday.

The councillor alleged that contractor Dutta had refused to listen to her when she asked him to carry out a repair job on an emergency basis. “A pipe was lying damaged in my ward for 15 days. When I asked Dutta to repair the pipe on Wednesday, he refused,” Chakraborty complained. She said none of the civic officials paid heed to her earlier complaints, either, and so she had to sternly ask the contractor to take up the work. “I have informed my party leaders and will seek strong action against the contractor,” she added.

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