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CPM leader flees in TMC fear

- Threats by ruling party workers after attending Surjya meeting

Burdwan, April 21: A Burdwan CPM branch committee member who had led 100 party cadres to a meeting organised by Surjya Kanta Mishra on Friday had to home with his family last evening after local Trinamul activists allegedly came to his home twice, destroyed his crops and threatened to set his house on fire.

“My fault was that I had organised and taken about 100 villagers to an election rally addressed by leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra at Badulia village on Friday,” said Prasanta Sarkar, the CPM leader and farmer who resides in Khandagosh.

Sarkar today met district magistrate Saumitra Mohan, who is also the district election officer, and lodged a complaint with him.

According to Sarkar, the group of local Trinamul activists started threatening him with dire consequences since Saturday morning, a day after he took villagers to Mishra’s rally.

“But at night, at least 15 to 20 Trinamul activists armed with sticks, rods and stones raided my house. They asked me to come out. They also threatened they would kidnap the women in my family,” Sarkar said.

Sarkar alleged that the mob started throwing stones at his house and also tried to break the doors and windows before destroying the crops in the barn.

“I was terrified. I contacted Deshbandhu Hazra, the zonal committee secretary of the CPM, over the phone. About an hour later, the police arrived. By that time the miscreants had left. The police team asked me to go to the police station next morning and lodge an FIR,” said Sarkar.

Sarkar alleged that when he returned home after lodging the FIR at Khandoghosh police station that night, the group of Trinamul activists again came to his house and asked him to withdraw the complaint.

“They threatened me that they would come again at night and set my house on fire if I did not withdraw my complaint. They told me that the police were working at their behest and would not come to the rescue,” said Sarkar.

Trinamul has denied the allegations.

The CPM leader said he did not take any chance and fled home with his family members — his wife, elderly parents, a four-year-old son, his elder brother Sukanta and his wife and seven-year-old daughter last evening.

Accompanied by his elder brother Sukanta, 31, and CPM MLA from Khandaghosh, Nabin Chandra Bag, Sarkar went to the office of the DM of Burdwan this morning and lodged a written complaint seeking safety and security of his family members.

Bag said: “We have been living in a reign of terror. Our men are being told to stay indoors on the day of the elections. Complaints lodged with the district authorities are of no avail.”

Khandaghosh block Trinamul president Alok Maji said his party workers were “in no way involved in the so called attack at Khandoghosh”. “It is a false allegation to malign our party.”

District magistrate Mohan said he had sought a report from the police. “I have asked the police to take action if the charges are found to be true.”