The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pained Basu asks why

Calcutta, June 19: Jyoti Basu today blasted the government for the police crackdown on CPM supporters, including his confidential assistant Joykrishna Ghosh and party MP Amitava Nandi.

“At the end of my career, it pains me to see our men being beaten up by police under our government. What’s this'” he asked. “Today’s police action must have been carried out at the instance of Writers’ Buildings.”

This is the second time in a week the former chief minister has publicly raised his voice against police action.

Earlier, he had criticised the baton-charge on fasting students of Jadavpur University. Sources said Basu had informally spoken to Bhattacharjee about the “harsh police action”.

Basu said the attack on Ghosh could have been fatal. “Joy suffered injuries to his left eye and had to be hospitalised. I am still in shock.”

His observations are being viewed as direct criticism of the chief minister, who is also in charge of police.

The CPM’s elder statesman also resented the manner in which the police arrested a large number of people from Salt Lake last night. “The Indian constitution guarantees us free movement. What then led the police to arrest our people hours before the polls' Is this not an infringement on people’s constitutional rights'”

Basu recounted that such things never took place when he was chief minister. “There were several elections during my tenure but incidents of neither large-scale arrests nor a crackdown occurred.”

He would speak to the chief minister and party secretary Anil Biswas. “I must know what is what from Buddha and Anil. This cannot be allowed,” he said.

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