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CPM cry: Relief from ‘torture’

Calcutta, May 20: CPM supporter Dibas Mali had returned to his village in Haroa in the hope that heavy police presence would help him live in his home, which he had fled after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in the face of alleged Trinamul attacks.

A police team had escorted him and many other CPM supporters on May 9 to Brahmanchak, which falls under the Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency.

“But after staying for seven days, I had to flee again,” said Mali, sitting in front of a construction site at New Town today.

“Bombs were hurled and shots were fired at us when 200 of us were going to vote on May 12. After the results were announced this Friday, Trinamul activists started torturing us,” he said.

Armed Trinamul activists allegedly went to the houses of CPM supporters in Brahmanchak and ordered them to leave the village immediately. Those who protested were beaten up. The CPM supporters were allegedly told that they would be burnt alive or shot dead if they stayed back in the village.

The fate of the 200-odd CPM sympathisers in Haroa is similar to that of many others in several other parts of the state, especially in Burdwan and Hooghly. The ruling party has been accused of unleashing attacks on Opposition supporters.

Several CPM supporters were allegedly beaten up in Hooghly’s Arambagh and Goghat, once Left bastions, after Trinamul won the Arambagh Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 3.4 lakh votes.

“How long will the Opposition be attacked like this? We don’t want to be involved in politics any more. All we want is a decent and peaceful life,” said Mali, who now stays in a rented one-room house in New Town and works as a labourer.

Before being allegedly hounded out of his village in 2009, Mali used to run a grocery shop and do fishing. “I had a monthly income of Rs 8,000. Now, with double the labour, I barely manage to earn Rs 4,500 a month,” he said.

Nemai Mandal, with whom this correspondent had spoken when he returned to Brahmanchak with his family before the elections, alleged today that he had been driven out again by Trinamul activists.

“Since I was vocal against Trinamul atrocities, party activists told their counterparts in New Town to ensure that I was not allowed into the rented house where I had been putting up since being driven out for the first time in 2009. I had been working as a mason, but I have lost that job too,” said Mandal, a CPM supporter.

Mandal and his family are now putting up at a friend’s house in New Town.

The police said no villager had lodged complaints against Trinamul activists after the elections. “We do not know if any resident was forced out of the village,” said a senior North 24-Parganas police officer.

The newly elected Trinamul MP of Basirhat, Idris Ali, said: “The allegations against our party workers are baseless. I am not aware of any CPM supporter fleeing the village.”