| Chowdhury: Dubious link
Berhampore, April 17: Congress workers today demonstrated in front of the sub-divisional judicial magistrate’s court and called a Murshidabad bandh on Tuesday to protest against the arrest of Arit Majumdar, district Youth Congress president and brother-in-law of party MP Adhir Chowdhury.
Majumdar was arrested from his residence this morning in connection with the murder of CPM activist Jhantu Das in 2001. He was later produced at the magistrate’s court and remanded in judicial custody till April 29.
Several Congress workers gathered in front of the magistrate’s court and shouted slogans against “a partisan district police administration”. Over 500 private bus operators have also withdrawn their vehicles in Murshidabad district to protest against “police highhandedness”.
State Congress leader Pradyut Guha and Chowdhury’s wife, Arpita, rushed to the court and joined party activists in protesting against Majumdar’s arrest.
Chowdhury termed the arrest the result of a “heinous conspiracy hatched by the CPM and the district police to systematically harass Congress workers on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls”.
The MP threatened to “paralyse the administration if the police do not mend their ways and stop harassing party workers”.
Deputy superintendent of police Sahabul Hossain said Jhantu Das had been picked up from a Berhampore hospital by some miscreants owing allegiance to the Congress on September 8, 2001, and then murdered. His body was found floating on river Bhagirathi.
Police arrested several suspects who named Majumdar as the brain behind the murder. “We started a case against Majumdar on the basis of their statements. The Berhampore sub-divisional judicial magistrate issued an arrest warrant against Majumdar on April 15,” said Hossain. Ten others have been arrested in connection with Das’ murder.
Past records, however, indicate Majumdar’s involvement in several other criminal cases. Majumdar had been arrested in connection with the murders of Bapi Mishra and Ashis Bhowmik in 1995, but was released on bail.
While Mishra had been murdered at Swarnamoyee area, Bhowmik’s body could not be traced.
Police in East Midnapore fired in the air to disperse a crowd that had blocked National Highway 4 for more than two hours this morning demanding the arrest of a CPM activist.
Residents of Bardaba had put up a roadblock on the highway to urge the police to arrest Kolaghat panchayat samiti member Musharraf Hussain, following an altercation over a tubewell.