Family members of some of the affected families at the SP’s office. Picture by Krishna Das
Burdwan, Aug. 3: CPM leaders and farmers loyal to the party today complained to the district police chief that Trinamul workers were not letting them cultivate paddy in Burdwan’s Raina.
Members of about 15 families from seven villages in Raina led by local MLA Basudeb Khan today met police superintendent S.M.H. Meerza and urged him to provide protection to them.
“I have received the complaint and asked the local police to investigate every complaint and submit a report to me,” the SP said.
One of the affected CPM workers, Fazlul Haque, 48, said he was hounded out of his home by Trinamul workers after the Assembly polls last year.
“Local Trinamul leaders ransacked my home and took away cash and other valuables. They accused me of being a harmad (armed CPM cadre) and said I would not be allowed to stay in the village. Since then, I have been running from one relative’s house to another with my wife, mother and four daughters,” said Fazlul, a resident of Bontir village who owns an 11-bigha plot.
“I have not been allowed to farm my land. I was forced to work as a security guard and as a waiter in an eatery to make ends meet. I have not been able to cultivate the monsoon crop for the past two years,” he added.
Fazlul said he had requested the local police to take action but “nothing was done”.
“I was assured by the officer of the local police station that I need not worry and could return home with my family. But when I came back in November and started ploughing my field with a hired tractor to cultivate the bodo crop, Trinamul workers attacked me and asked me to leave. They even threatened to kill me. I got so scared that I again fled with my family within three weeks,” Fazlul said.
He added: “I have not yet been able to plough my land for the aman (monsoon) paddy.”
Another farmer, Jamaluddin Khan, 44, who owns a nine-bigha land in Akhina village, said he too was prevented from cultivating the land last year.
“Trinamul activists threatened to kill me as I am a CPM worker. One night, I fled with my mother and wife. I have been staying with my sister in another village since then. How will I put food on the table if I can’t cultivate my land? Jamaluddin said.
Basudeb Khan, the CPM’s Raina MLA, said: “We requested the SP to provide protection to the farmers so that they can return home and cultivate the aman crop. The police chief assured them that he would enquire with the local police about the problems the farmers are facing and take necessary action.”
Trinamul leaders in Raina denied the allegations. “Trinamul has not driven the CPM loyalists out of their homes. The people are angry with them for terrorising the public during the Left rule,” Raina Trinamul leader Niamul Haque said.