The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CM admits cadre ‘barbarism’

Calcutta, July 15: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today sent out a clear message to the CPM cadre, admitting that they had murdered a panchayat official and assuring co-operation with rivals who have complained of harassment at their hands.

Describing the incident in which CPM workers burnt to death Adikanda Dolui in May as “medieval barbarism”, he said a fresh inquiry will be ordered.

“We want to examine the role of the police in this case,” he told the Assembly. He said 15 persons have been arrested.

During the discussion on the home (police) budget, Trinamul Congress legislators accused CPM functionaries and even a section of police of preventing them from carrying on with their political activities.

Bhattacharjee offered to visit the constituencies of the legislators, sort out their grievances against the CPM cadre and help them organise meetings and rallies across Bengal.

“I request you to give me specific complaints. Once you do this, I will work on it, hold meetings with those involved in such incidents and, if necessary, I will personally visit with you the areas where you are facing such troubles to sort out your difficulties,” Bhattacharjee said.

“Opposition parties have a very significant role to play in a democratic set-up and we always honour them,” he added.

But he accused the Congress, Trinamul, the BJP and the Jharkhand Party of ganging up against the CPM in Midnapore. He said Dolui was burnt to death at Gopiballavpur in West Midnapore in retaliation to the killing of CPM leader Ardhendu Satpathi. He held the “mahajot” responsible for Satpathi’s death.

He refuted another Trinamul charge that no one was arrested for the assault on party MLA Nirmal Mondal. “Seven persons were arrested in connection with the incident and four of them had been chargesheeted,” Bhattacharjee said.

He dismissed Trinamul MLA Sougata Roy’s demand for a white paper on the security arrangements for the chief minister and his family and denied reports that a team of 170 security personnel will be formed for the job.

“I can’t even imagine deploying such a lot of security personnel for myself and members of my family. I also assure you that I will not spend one single rupee extra for my security. What I suggested is that an exclusive small team of security personnel accompany me to the districts without bothering the district police. This will save a lot of money,” he told the House.

Expressing concern over the People’s War Group’s activities in some pockets in the Midnapore districts, Bhattacharjee said the home secretary was giving him daily reports on the outfit’s activities.

“These groups are led by two Telegu-speaking leaders. That is why my government is keeping a close vigil on the PWG activities in Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

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