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CPM leader assaulted at office

Alleged Trinamul Congress workers stormed a CPM office in Cossipore and assaulted a leader repeatedly with iron rods less than a day before the city goes to the polls.

Kalyan Samajdar, the secretary of the CPM’s Cossipore local committee, was buying groceries at a market around 10.30am on Sunday when the alleged Trinamul men who had been trailing him on motorbikes for the past few days spotted him.

They allegedly chased Samajdar till the party office on Cossipore Road in ward number 1, part of the Calcutta North Lok Sabha constituency, where they beat him up with iron rods. A man was arrested in the evening for the assault.

Doctors who attended to the 54-year-old at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital said he had a deep wound on the left leg below the knee, for which he had to undergo an operation. The cuts and bruises all over his body were “apparently caused by blunt instruments”.

X-rays revealed partial dislocation of fingers of both hands but there were no fractures.

Samajdar’s sister Swapna Das, who accompanied him to the hospital, said her brother was buying groceries when he felt some people were stalking him.

“He left the grocery bag at the shop and started walking briskly towards the local office of the CPM. As soon as he hit the main road, he saw people on around 12 motorbikes approaching him. He ran into the party office but these men followed him there and beat him up repeatedly with iron rods,” said Swapna, whose husband Chanchal is a zonal committee secretary of the CPM.

“You want to vote, right? Pack up and leave the area. We do not want to see any of you here,” a witness quoted the attackers as telling Samajdar. Witnesses said the assault continued for over 15 minutes, while some bikers stood guard outside the party office, around 7km from the heart of the city.

Swapna Das said Trinamul workers in the area were trying to intimidate Samajdar for the past few days. “Some of them had surrounded him on Saturday evening, too, but he managed to flee to the local CPM office,” she said.

CPM leaders alleged that the police did not act despite a timely alert. “We alerted the police immediately after hearing about the attack on Kalyanda. But the police arrived only after the attackers had left. The cops did not bother to find out who the attackers were,” said Gouranga Pal, a CPM supporter who claimed he was outside the party office during the assault.

Assistant commissioner Ziaur Rahman was heard questioning the local police’s role when he arrived at the spot around 1.50pm.

A group of alleged Trinamul men pushed and shoved Rahman, while Mohammad Kalimuddin, the officer-in-charge of Cossipore police station, was standing nearby. Two men were arrested for pushing Rahman.

“The deputy commissioner of police, north, has been asked to conduct an inquiry into the OC’s role during the assault on the assistant commissioner,” said Rajeev Mishra, the joint commissioner of police, headquarters.

Sources said no probe has been ordered into the OC’s role for the delay in arresting the accused in the Samajdar assault.

In Beleghata, CPM activist Ashish Ghosh was injured in an attack by a group of alleged Trinamul men around 10am on Sunday. According to the complaint, one of the attackers allegedly hit him with the butt of a firearm.

Ghosh also alleged that Trinamul men had been threatening him and other CPM cadres in Beleghata not to vote.