Bhattacharjee (right) and Ganguly at the Raidighi rally. (Anup Bhattacharya)
Raidighi, July 6: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today lashed out at the state government for not taking action against Trinamul leaders Tapas Paul, Manirul Islam and Anubrata Mondal despite grievous charges against them, but arresting CPM cadres “for no reason”.
The former chief minister made the allegations at a rally in South 24-Parganas’ Raidighi, 10km from the place where four Trinamul workers were killed on June 14. He did not name Manirul and Mondal but referred to public comments made by the two Trinamul leaders.
Police arrested 13 CPM leaders and workers within two-three days of the murders on the basis of an FIR that named 21 Left members, including former minister Kanti Ganguly. Although Trinamul has blamed the CPM and the BJP for the murders, relatives of the slain persons had said the crime could be the fallout of factional feud.
Similar alacrity was, however, not shown by the police while dealing with Paul although video footage of the Trinamul MP threatening rape and murder have been reported in the media for the past six days and has prompted nationwide condemnation and several police complaints.
MLA Manirul, who had been named in an FIR on the murders of three brothers in Birbhum in 2010 and had publicly said he had “trampled” them, does not figure in the chargesheet filed by the police, which Bhattacharjee today referred to.
Addressing a 10,000-strong gathering at the Krishnachandrapur grounds in Raidighi this afternoon, Bhattacharjee said: “Those who are committing crimes are being allowed to roam around. The police are not arresting them. Their names are being dropped from the chargesheet. Look at what this film actor and MP Tapas Paul did. Even after he said he would let loose his men on the homes of women, no step was taken against him.
“Can any gentleman, any cultured person, make such comments? But this filmstar can. Unfortunately, the Trinamul government doesn’t bother to take any step against him. But our men are being arrested for no reason, as in Raidighi. I think dark days are ahead for Bengal.”
Referring to Labhpur MLA Manirul’s comments, Bhattacharjee said lawlessness was prevailing in the state. “An MLA is saying he trampled three men under his feet. But no step has been taken against him. He is moving around freely. The government is shielding him,” Bhattacharjee said.
“Similarly, another Trinamul leader (Anubrata Mondal) threatened and asked his supporters to hurl bombs at the police. But no action was taken against him. However, our Raidighi leader (Bimal Bhandari) has been booked for no fault of his,” the former chief minister added.
Four days after Mondal told party workers at a public meeting to burn down the houses of dissidents contesting last year’s panchayat polls as Independents, a rebel Trinamul leader’s father was shot dead in Birbhum’s Parui. Mondal has been named in the FIR but no action has yet been taken against him.
Trinamul leaders in Nadia have decided to highlight the development projects taken up by the state government, an apparent damage-control exercise following the “rape-and-shoot” speech by party MP Paul.
A Trinamul leader said: “We have been told by our seniors to be careful while speaking. There is no doubt that the speech has tarnished the image of the party. We now have to highlight the projects the government has taken up here. We might also highlight Paul’s achievements.”