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Power of seat beside Mamata

- Relatives of grieving mother allege renewed threats after CM, Manirul share dais
Zarina Biwi

Labhpur, July 14: The family members of the three brothers hacked to death allegedly in Manirul’s Islam’s house in 2010 today said his aides were threatening them, the renewed charge coming days after the Trinamul MLA was seen sharing the dais with Mamata Banerjee.

“No one can do anything to us. Our MLA sits beside Mamata Banerjee,” one of Zarina Biwi’s grandsons quoted a Manirul loyalist as telling him in Labhpur.

Zarina, the mother of the three slain brothers, and two of her grandsons today said Trinamul workers who had stopped intimidating them after the family moved the high court renewed their threats ever since the chief minister’s public meeting on July 10.

After repeated attempts, Manirul took a call from this correspondent. “No comments,” he said, and disconnected the line before the legislator could be asked about the allegation of threats.

The Labhpur MLA was seen sitting beside Mamata during the public meeting in Bolpur last week. Along with the chief minister, chief secretary Sanjay Mitra, home secretary Basudeb Banerjee and director-general of police G.M.P. Reddy were on the dais.

Sheikh Firoz, one of Zarina’s grandsons who supplies sand to construction firms in Birbhum, said: “Wherever we go, Trinamul workers intercept us. Yesterday, some of them told me that their leader Manirul was close to Mamata Banerjee and no one could harm him. They asked me if I had seen him share the stage with the chief minister.”

The 19-year-old said he was returning home to Labhpur along with his brother Ibrahim when Trinamul workers stopped them.

“We were returning from Kirnahar after delivering a consignment of sand. The Trinamul workers, who had been threatening us for the past few days, stopped us. Some of them are accused in the murder of my uncles,” Ibrahim said.

Amader keu kichhu korte parbena. Amader MLA Mamata Banerjeer pashe boshe thake. Toder ke bachabe? (No one can do anything with us. Our MLA sits beside Mamata Banerjee. Who will now protect you?),” Firoz quoted a Trinamul worker as saying.

“We fled the place fearing for our lives. These kind of threats had stopped for some time after we moved the high court in April,” Firoz added.

Altogether 54 people are accused in the 2010 murder of the three brothers, who were CPM supporters. Fourteen people, including Manirul, had been arrested, but are now out on bail.

Zarina and her family moved the high court in April, seeking a CBI probe into the case.

Anarul Sheikh, one of Zarina’s sons, alleged that a group of Manirul’s loyalists had last week threatened him and his brother Sanarul that they would not be allowed to “carry on our sand supply business if we did not withdraw the complaint”.

Most of Zarina’s sons fled Labhpur after the murder of the three brothers in 2010 and are staying in Murshidabad and Burdwan. Zarina, who had changed homes 20 times since her sons’ murders, now lives with her grandsons and two of her sons in the Birbhum village.

She accused the police of inaction. “The police do not take our complaints and they are doing nothing. We don’t know when they (Manirul’s loyalists) will attack us. We live in constant fear. I think this place is no longer safe.”

Sheikh Mazal, one of Zarina’s sons who lives in Labhpur but in another house, said he fled home when he learnt that Manirul had come to meet party workers in a nearby village.

“Manirul met his followers, some of whom are accused in the murder case, and assured them not to worry. I fled home in fear,” said Mazal, who refused to divulge his address.

Told about the alleged threats, Birbhum district superintendent of police Alok Rajoria said: “I will not make any comment on this.”