Aug. 18: Trinamul has been accused of abducting several elected members of other parties, including four women, in North Dinajpur to take control of gram panchayat boards in rural bodies where it did not have the majority.
The CPM has alleged that seven elected members of the Durgapur and Kapasia gram panchayats in Itahar were abducted so that Trinamul could form the boards in the absence of Left winners during voting.
Three children of three of the women elected members were also abducted.
District police chief Akhilesh Chaturvedi said tonight that the women had been found. “We have located the women and the babies. We will not disclose where they are now,” he said.
The CPM also accused Trinamul of grabbing the posts of pradhan and deputy pradhan.
District magistrate P.N. Bhutia said the final decision on the election of the pradhans and deputy pradhans would be taken based on the reports of the presiding officers.
“Elections to the posts of pradhan and deputy pradhan can be done only when a minimum of one-thirds of the elected members are present and voting,” Bhutia said.
If the district magistrate finds anomalies in voting to form boards, he can report the matter to the panchayat department, which has the power to order re-voting.
The CPM lodged an FIR mentioning that a group of armed Trinamul men stormed a school in the Durgapur gram panchayat area early today and abducted five women, including the four elected members, and the babies.
CPM leader Biswajit Saha said: “Of the 19 seats in the Durgapur panchayat, the Left has won 10, Trinamul eight and the Congress one. We had anticipated foul play by Trinamul and had decided to keep our members in the school (100m from the panchayat office) last night and guard them.”
“Around 4am, armed Trinamul members barged into the school compound. They hurled bombs, dragged the women out along with their babies, forced them into two SUVs and sped away.”
District CPM secretary Bireswar Lahiri said Trinamul activists waylaid Left members of the Kapasia panchayat when they were on their way to vote and abducted them.
Trinamul denied the charge of abduction. District party president and Itahar MLA Mala Acharjee said: “The abductions are the fallout of CPM factional rivalry.”
The CPM in Birbhum’s Mayureswar accused Trinamul of preventing Left members of the Jhikodda gram panchayat from entering the office for voting this afternoon by hurling bombs at them. In the absence of opposition, Trinamul took control of the board.