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Cop report contests ‘fine’ claim

Burdwan, June 29: The Burdwan police chief today said Trinamul workers in Raina had not taken “fines” from CPM cadres who had campaigned in the Lok Sabha polls, as had been alleged by the Left party last week.

S.M.H. Meerza, the Burdwan superintendent of police, said he had instructed an officer to visit the village and probe the allegations by the CPM that a section of their cadres who had fled their homes after the polls had been ordered by ruling party activists to pay fines ranging between Rs 20,000 and Rs 5 lakh on their return.

Trinamul has denied the charges.

Sources said the report, drawn up on the basis of video-recorded statements of the allegedly threatened CPM cadres, was submitted today.

“The report I received says the accused Trinamul leaders had not demanded any fine. They had sought some money for the treatment of a party worker who was injured in a clash with CPM activists on April 30 in Raina,” the Burdwan SP said.

Quoting the report, Meerza added that the CPM cadres had not paid the money Trinamul demanded for the treatment. “The OC of Raina has already cautioned Trinamul leaders against demanding money from CPM members in the village,” the SP said.

The allegation of “fines” had been made on June 25 by 16 CPM cadres who returned to their village a few weeks ago after being on the run for days because of alleged Trinamul “threats”. The CPM workers had said Trinamul had threatened to hound them out again if they did not pay the money.

Trinamul had denied the charge, terming the allegations baseless.

The Burdwan CPM had also alleged that Raina police station had refused to register an FIR against the members of the ruling party.

The officer in charge of Raina police station, Rakesh Singh, had denied the allegation saying no one had come to the police station to lodge a complaint.