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CPM supporter beaten to death

Midnapore, June 9: A CPM supporter who had fled home in West Midnapore three years ago fearing Trinamul attacks was beaten to death yesterday by suspected workers of the ruling party who targeted him at a relative’s wedding.

Saiful Bhuniya, 40, had been working as a labourer in Midnapore town since fleeing his Garbeta home with his wife and two children in 2011. He and his family had gone to his brother-in-law’s house for a relative’s wedding yesterday afternoon when around 10 local Trinamul workers dragged him out and beat him up near a bush, 2km away.

Saiful died last evening in an Arambagh hospital, 20km away in Hooghly.

Sources said guests at the wedding and Saiful’s relatives remained mute spectators when the group of suspected Trinamul workers pulled him out from among the invitees. Minutes later, the CPM supporter was found lying in a pool of blood near a bush.

“Trinamul-backed goons dragged my son out of his brother-in-law’s house around 3.30pm and beat him up with sticks and rods. Then they dumped him near a bush. What had my son done to earn this? Is supporting the CPM a crime these days?” asked Dilowar Bhuniya, 62, Saiful’s father.

Trinamul has said its party workers were not involved in the incident.

According to Dilowar, the Trinamul Congress had imposed a fine of Rs 30,000 on each family of CPM supporters in Garbeta after coming to power in 2011, prompting most of them to either flee the village or switch loyalties.

The family had been shifting places in Midnapore town regularly, fearing attacks by Trinamul workers. Both Saiful and his father worked as labourers.

Dibakar Bhuniya, the Garbeta zonal committee secretary of the CPM, said Saiful’s sons had stopped going to school ever since the family fled home three years ago. The CPM leader added that a police complaint had been lodged.

Asked about the allegations, district Trinamul committee president Dinen Roy said the CPM was “cooking up stories”.