The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Strikers get bail

Raiganj, March 19: Nine Congress activists, including president of the North Dinajpur district Youth Congress Sandip Biswas, were taken into police custody last night on charges of assaulting administrative officials and destroying government property during the 12-hour Bangla bandh on March 16.

All of them were released on bail this morning.

Among others, six administrative officials had sustained injuries when the Congress supporters attacked the district collectorate at Karnajora. The rioters had also ransacked four offices.

Today, chief judicial magistrate Arnab Dutta released the Congress supporters on bail on the condition that they will report to Raiganj police station once a week and will meet officials of the district intelligence branch if and when asked for.

District president of the Congress Mohit Sen said the party supporters, led by Biswas, had surrendered to the police. “The police had been raiding the houses of our supporters every night under pressure from the CPM leadership. Two innocent Congress activists had earlier been arrested and implicated in false cases,” Sen added.

District superintendent of police Swapan Banerjee Purnapatra said: “We have asked the government officials who were assaulted to identify the culprits. If we find that the real culprits are still missing we shall conduct fresh raids.”

Members of the CPM-affiliated Coordination Committee of State Government Employees, on their part, held a rally in front of the collectorate today. They demanded that the district magistrate be removed for his “failure to protect those who had defied the bandh call to attend office” on March 16.

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