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7 arrested for BDO assault

Raiganj, Dec. 27: A CPM zonal committee secretary and six other party workers were arrested today for assaulting the block development officer of Itahar five days ago.

After the arrests, CPM members and supporters gheraoed the block office, protesting that their leaders “were innocent and were framed”. They demanded the removal of the “corrupt” BDO Sheikh Jahur Ali, who had been attacked by a mob on December 22.

Led by the CPM zonal committee secretary Habibur Rehman, around 50-60 persons had pushed Ali to the ground, slapped him around and tore his sweater when he alighted from his car in Itahar, 25km from here, to accept a charter of demands from a party delegation.

A day earlier, Rehman had called Ali and told him about his party’s plan to submit a memorandum to him on the alleged irregularities in the 100 days’ work scheme and the rampant corruption in the Congress-run Itahar panchayat samiti.

“We investigated the role of the persons named in the FIR and arrested them from various places in Itahar. They were produced before the chief judicial magistrate and their bail pleas have been rejected. The court has sent them to judicial custody till January 6, the date for the next hearing,” additional superintendent of police Milan Bhowmik said.

One of the main complaints in the FIR by Ali was the police inaction while he was being assaulted. “The policemen present just stood around and it was my office staff who helped me flee to safety,” Ali said.

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