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TMC ire at rival’s widow

Burdwan, Jan. 21: Trinamul workers today held a procession near the house of slain CPM leader Pradip Tah in Burdwan and accused his widow and daughter of spreading canards against the government, three days after the high court expressed concern about the family’s security.

Tah was bludgeoned to death in February last year by alleged Trinamul activists while he was leading a procession in Dewandighi, on the outskirts of Burdwan town.

Burdwan police chief S.M.H. Meerza, whom Calcutta High Court had instructed to provide special security to the family, said the police had not given permission for the procession.

“I have reports that Trinamul took out the procession without the police’s permission,” Meerza said.

The procession started at 3.30pm from a Trinamul office about 20 metres from Tah’s house, with 50-odd people. As the procession marched towards the block development office at Kamnara, more Trinamul workers joined in.

When the procession reached the office, 2km from Tah’s home, around 1,000 people were walking in it.

Trinamul workers shouted slogans like “Pradip Tah-r stree-kanya der diey ghrinya rajnitir biruddhe gorjey uthun (speak out against the nasty politics using Pradip Tah’s wife and daughter)”.

The district CPM leadership said the procession was taken out to “mount mental pressure” on Tah’s widow Chitralekha and daughter Pritha.

“Trinamul has virtually thrown a challenge to the high court,” said Amal Haldar, the CPM district secretary.

Chitralekha was not at home when the procession was taken out. She was at Galsi Girls’ High School, where she is the headmistress. Pritha is pursuing a journalism course at a private college in Calcutta.

“I did not know about the Trinamul procession. My daughter and I are living in panic. I cannot sleep at night fearing possible attacks on my daughter. My sole objective of going to court was to seek protection,” Chitralekha said.

Chitralekha and Pritha had written to Chief Justice A.K. Mishra in December alleging that after Tah’s death, they were receiving threats from local Trinamul workers.

A police officer said that following the court order, the personnel strength at a police camp within 50 metres of Tah’s home had been increased. Constables have been posted in front of the house too.