|The water body that has been filled up with mud and ash. Picture by Santosh Kumar Mondal
Asansol, July 7: The president of Trinamul’s women wing in Asansol has accused a party colleague of filling up a water body with mud and ash to build flats there.
Rakhi Mukherjee, the chief of the ruling party’s women front in the Asansol South Assembly segment, has lodged a police complaint against Ahmedullah Khan, the party secretary of ward 38 of Asansol municipal corporation.
Sources said Khan was close to party councillor Mohammad Sohrab Ali, in whose area the four-acre water body is located. Mukherjee said Khan, who is also a realtor, had employed people to bury the water body in phases over
“Residents told me that Khan and his associates were filling up the four-acre water body with mud and ash to build apartments there. I visited the spot and found that almost 80 per cent of the pond had been filled up. I lodged a complaint against Khan at Hirapur police station on June 28,” Mukherjee said.
The state’s inland fisheries act prohibits any one from filling up a water body measuring five cottahs or more. Filling up a water body is a non-bailable criminal offence which carries a maximum punishment of three years in jail.
Khan, who purchased the water body two months ago, denied his people were involved in filling it up, saying “I am trying to find out who is doing it.”
Sources said Mukherjee led a faction that is rival to Khan and councillor Ali.
Trinamul has been battling factionalism in Asansol and adjoining areas. The issue was addressed at length by Mamata Banerjee and other senior party leaders who held a series of rallies in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.
Feud within Trinamul in Asansol was cited as one of the reasons for Dola Sen’s defeat in the general elections.
Mukherjee said she had also written to Asansol mayor and local MLA Tapas Banerjee.
Asked about the complaint, Banerjee said: “I have asked the sub-divisional officer to take immediate action against those who have filled up the water body. However, I have come to know that work on filling up the pond has been stopped.”
Sub-divisional officer Amitava Das said he ordered Section 144 CrPc around the water body. “Water bodies cannot be filled up like that. I have clamped 144 CrPc in the area so that no one goes near it to fill it up. We have started an inquiry and will lodge a complaint with the police soon,” Das said.
Local ward councillor Sohrab Ali, too, denied involvement of any Trinamul worker in filling up the water body.