The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Murder charge on CPM trio
- Police action follows barbs from Trinamul leader widow

Krishnagar (Nadia), April 28: Less than a fortnight before Bengal goes to polls, three local CPM leaders were chargesheeted and named “proclaimed offenders” for conspiring in the murder of a Trinamul Congress functionary.

Samir Nag, a Trinamul leader in Chakdah, was murdered seven months ago. Police have just wrapped up the case and mounted a search to arrest Ashim Roy, the Bishnupur CPM local committee secretary, and committee members Dholgobinda Chandra and Swapan Mandol.

“They are absconding. The trio has been chargesheeted in the Samir Nag murder case and the court has accepted our prayer to declare them proclaimed offenders,” said Nadia superintendent of police Pankaj Dutta.

Copies of the court order have been pasted on the doors to their houses.

Action against the partymen comes days after Nag’s widow Neelima, the Trinamul candidate from the Nabadwip parliamentary seat, criticised the “police inaction”.

During campaign, Neelima has been reminding prospective voters how her husband was slain. “The killers are roaming free and all I can do is watch and appeal to you for help,” she said at a rally.

However, CPM insiders feel that the trio should have been arrested earlier to break any possible “sympathy wave” in favour of Neelima.

Trinamul leaders, too, believe that the action is an attempt to minimise embarrassment for the CPM leaders in the area.

District CPM secretary Ashu Ghosh said Roy, a schoolteacher and former panchayat samiti chief of Chakdah, Mandol and Chandra have been framed. But he also admitted that the accused should have surrendered in court. “We know that they have nothing to do with the murder and are being accused unnecessarily. But I also think that the law should take its own course,” Ghosh said.

Nag was murdered in the night of September 8, 2003, when a gang allegedly backed by the CPM gunned him down near Dubra panchayat office in Chakdah, about 80 km from Calcutta. He was returning to his Bishnupur home on a motorcycle. After shooting him, the killers also hurled bombs to make sure he was dead.

The incident sparked violence in the area as Trinamul supporters went on the rampage, setting ablaze two CPM offices, a public library and about 20 houses.

An FIR was lodged the next day at Chakdah police station, where Neelima named a clutch of CPM and DYFI leaders as accused. A member of the CPM youth wing Rajat Kanti Das and eight of his associates were arrested but Roy, Chandra and Mandol escaped the net.

The police refuted charges that they had been dragging their feet saying the trio was absconding. Now, the police said, Roy’s properties have been seized and will be auctioned in the presence of a magistrate.

“The same treatment would be meted out to the other two if they don’t surrender soon. Still, some people blame the police for inaction,” Dutta said.

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