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Don’t venture out at night: TMC tells E Midnapore cadres
- Party fears rebel leaders who had defected from CPM, issues order in aftermath of panchayat member murder

Tamluk, Feb. 6: The Trinamul Congress in East Midnapore has told party workers in the district to “move around cautiously”, especially after dusk, in the wake of the murder of a panchayat member in Nandigram on Tuesday night.

Subhendu Adhikari, the Trinamul MP from Tamluk, today said party “rebels” who had switched from the CPM were “conniving with activists of their former party” to “perpetrate attacks on us”.

Asked about the instructions to Trinamul leaders and workers in the district, he said: “If at all any party activist has to step out of home at night, he must be accompanied by at least two or three others. CPM-backed goons have fired at three of our panchayat leaders in Nandigram since 2009. Two of them died. So our workers must be cautious.”

The deputy chief of the Boyal II gram panchayat, Samar Maity, was shot dead near his home in Nandigram. Three CPM leaders, a CPI member and two Trinamul rebels have been arrested in connection with the murder.

Adhikari said Trinamul feared more attacks from CPM workers who have switched to the ruling party. “I have specific information that these defectors are hobnobbing with their former party colleagues,” he said.

The saha-sabhapati of the Nandigram panchayat samiti, Abu Taher, echoed Adhikari when asked how the CPM could “conspire” against the ruling Trinamul at a time the Left party was not in a position to organise a public meeting in the area.

“During the anti-land acquisition movement in Nandigram, several CPM activists had joined Trinamul. Some of them had tried to become panchayat leaders. But those who were denied tickets had contested against the official Trinamul candidates as Independents in the polls last year. But they lost. So they have decided to annihilate our men,” Taher said.

He said district Trinamul leaders were “worried” after the murder of Maity. He said he had received instructions from the district leadership not to venture out at night.

“But it is not always possible to move around in groups. So we have requested the police to be more active and intensify patrolling in Nandigram at night,” the panchayat leader said.

Among those arrested in the Maity murder case is CPM district secretariat member Ashok Guria, who is also accused in the Nandigram recapture case.

Early yesterday, the police arrested the two rebel Trinamul workers — Asiur Rahman Khan and Tezaur Rahman Khan. The arrests were made from Bhagabanpur in Egra, where they had taken shelter in a relative’s home.

Guria and the three others arrested earlier have been remanded in three days’ police custody. Maity’s father Badal had named Sheikh Nazimuddin, a rebel Trinamul leader, and 19 others in the FIR. Nazimuddin is absconding.

District superintendent of police S.K. Jain said six police camps had been set up in Nandigram.

“All these camps have been alerted after the attack on the upa-pradhan of Boyal on Tuesday. Patrolling has been intensified. The police have been asked to search those they find somebody suspicious,” he said.