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KPP leader held for Jalpaiguri blast

Dec. 30: Jalpaiguri police today arrested Nubas Burman, an assistant general secretary of the Kamtapur Peoples’ Party, in connection with the December 26 blast in Jalpaiguri that killed six persons.

Nubas is the second member of the KPP central committee to be picked up in the past 48 hours.

He was produced in the additional district and sessions court in Jalpaiguri and remanded in police custody for 10 days.

Yesterday, Subhash Burm-an, a KPP central committee member, was picked up from Malda for his alleged involve-ment in a case of indiscriminate firing at a bus in Malda’s Bamungola on the night of December 27.

In both the attacks, the police had named the KLO as the suspect. The KLO and KPP, though separate organisations, share the common demand of a separate Kamtapur state for Rajbangshis.

Both Subhash and Nubas have denied the charges of any involvement in the attacks and have alleged that the state government was trying to stop them from leading a democr-atic movement demanding a separate Kamtapur state.

Nubas is also one of the joint convenors of the Separate State Demand Committee — a forum of 12 regional forces based in north Bengal and Assam in favour of statehood.

He is a resident of Anda-an-Fulbari village, near Tufanganj, in Cooch Behar.

“In 2002, Nubas was arrested for having links with the KLO. He was released on bail in 2003,” said an intelligence source.

“He went into political hib-ernation for some time but re-surfaced last year, when the forum (Separate State Demand Committee) was set up. He was also elevated to the post of an assistant general secretary in the KPP and resumed his activities demanding a Kamtapur state,” the source added.

According to police sources, Nubas has been charged for his involvement in the Jalpaiguri blast along with Chandan Roy, a former KLO militant arrested yesterday in Mainaguri.

“I have no links with the KLO. I don’t know why I was picked up from my home in Tufanganj yesterday,” Nubas said while being taken to the courtroom from the lock-up today.

Nikhil Roy, the KPP general secretary, said: “Much like the erstwhile Left Front government, the current state government is trying to deter us from organising democratic activities. The police are slapping fake charges on our leaders and putting them behind the bars. Our central committee will hold a meeting in a day or two and chalk out plans to initiate a movement against such atrocities.”

In Malda, KPP central committee member Subhash Burman and his party colleague Falen Burman, both arrested yesterday for having direct links with the bus firing incident, were produced at the chief judicial magistrate’s court today.

Both have been remanded in 10 days’ police custody.

Satish Rajbangshi and Anindya Roy, also picked up yesterday, were sent to jail custody for 14 days.

“My father is innocent and does not have any links with KLO militant Malkhan Singh. In fact, Malkhan had planned to kill my father but the police never paid attention to the threats. They arrested my father instead,” said Smita, Subhash’s daughter.

Amit P. Javalgi, the superintendent of police, Jalpaiguri, confirmed today’s arrest and said the investigation was in progress.

“I had never attended any meeting with Malkhan. The police are trying to please the state government by arresting us. It is also an attempt to disintegrate the movement taken up by the KPP,” Subhash said.

Malda police chief Kalyan Mukherjee said: “We have arrested Subhash Burman and Falen Burman on the basis of specific evidence. On December 26, a meeting was held in Falen’s house at Jajail village in Gajole block (of Malda). Both Malkhan and Subhash were present in that meeting. When we got this input, we started looking for Falen and Subhash. ”

He added that Subhash tried to flee with his family.

“Subhash was trying to escape from the district with his family and was caught from Atul Market, the main private bus terminal in Malda,” Muk-herjee added.