(Top) Indranil Sen adresses the news conference in Behrampore after being allegedly manhandled on Sunday; Adhir Chowdhury during the roadblock earlier in the day. Pictures by Chayan Majumdar
Behrampore, May 11: Suspected Congress supporters today allegedly manhandled Trinamul’s Behrampore candidate Indranil Sen when he was on his way to meet ruling party leaders.
His left arm in a sling, Sen held a media conference at a party office in Behrampore, which votes tomorrow, and described how he escaped being “lynched” by those owing allegiance to a “dada”.
“I was travelling to Salar to meet some Trinamul leaders. I saw some people standing on the road and told the driver to stop the car. I thought they were residents. I was sitting beside the driver with my left elbow jutting out of the window,” said Sen, who is contesting against the Congress’s Adhir Chowdhury.
Singer Sen said that after stopping, he “realised” they were Congress supporters. “One of them shouted: ‘Dada ke haratey eschheish (you have come defeat dada)?’ and pounced on me. Someone grabbed my left arm while another pulled me by my T-shirt collar. I did not know what to do. I tried to speak to them but they continued to abuse me,” he said.
Sen said everybody knew that “dada” in Behrampore “means Adhir Chowdhury”.
The Trinamul candidate said “the Congress supporters” could not drag him out of the SUV because the door was locked.
Sen said his driver was “flabbergasted” but “gathered his wits fast” and sped away.
“Had the door of my car not been locked, I could have been lynched. By God’s grace I am alive today,” he added.
Sen consulted orthopaedic surgeon Swapan Roy, the president of the doctors’ cell of Trinamul.
“He suffered injuries in his left arm and shoulder as at least two persons pulled him from outside (the car). I have prescribed an X-ray of his shoulder and wrist,” Roy said.
Sen said he would have the X-ray done after elections tomorrow.
The Trinamul candidate has lodged a complaint with district magistrate Y. Ratnakara Rao and Murshidabad superintendent of police S.W. Raja. Sen said he would lodge another complaint with the Election Commission.
Rao said he was yet to receive the complaint. “But I have started an investigation after coming to know about the incident from the media,” he added.
State Congress president Adhir dubbed Sen’s allegations baseless.
“The allegations made by the Trinamul candidate are baseless. The incident did not occur on any village road. It took place at the Trinamul party office. As far as I know, Trinamul workers who will man booths in Behrampore were angry as they did not get enough allowance for tea and snacks,” said Adhir, also the junior railway minister.
Earlier in the day, Adhir and some of his aides were prevented from going to Rejinagar by Trinamul workers led by district party president Humayun Kabir.
Trinamul accused Adhir of going to Rejinagar to campaign after the deadline ended. The Congress candidate said he was going to meet party workers.
“The deadline ended yesterday but Adhir Chowdhury was going to Rejinagar in a convoy of five cars to campaign. So we stopped him,” said Kabir, a former Adhir aide who switched to Trinamul.
Adhir waited at the spot for two hours as the Trinamul workers blocked the road. “The police arrived within 10 minutes but stood silent spectators,” he said.
District police chief Raja said local cops “did not take action fearing law and order problems”.
The blockade was lifted around 1pm after senior officers, including police observer Indu Kumar Bhusan, and central forces reached the spot.