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A choice not too difficult for Trinamul

Anubrata Mondal: Named in an FIR related to the murder of a Trinamul dissident’s father four days after he exhorted party workers to burn down the houses of dissidents and bomb police if they came to the rescue. The Birbhum Trinamul chief, whose name does not find mention in the police chargesheet, has been described by the chief minister as a “bhalo chhele (good boy)”.

Manirul Islam: Named in an FIR on the murder of three brothers at a kangaroo court held at his home in 2010. The MLA went to the extent of openly saying he had trampled to death three persons. The MLA’s name, however, does not figure in the chargesheet and he finds pride of place beside the chief minister and senior IAS and IPS officers at public meetings.

Tapas Paul: Threatens Opposition with rape and murder. Trinamul is satisfied with his “unconditional apology” and the police are yet to take action despite several complaints and nationwide condemnation.

Alok Das: Who?

Chanchal Banerjee: Who?

Dipak Shil: Who?

Abdul Haque Kaderi: Who?

Sheikh Mustafa: Who?

Trinamul sees no evil while dealing with luminaries like Mondal, Manirul and Paul, but many grassroots leaders are getting the impression that they are being left out in the cold.

One such aggrieved lower-rung leader, Mustafa, who has been named in the chargesheet related to the Sagar Ghosh murder case, went to the extent of saying a few days ago that they were being made “scapegoats” but “big leaders” were being “spared”. Mondal had been named in the murder case FIR.

In Birbhum today, the district leadership declared that it would not “interfere in police matters”, prompting a section of party workers, on the run fearing arrests in a case of vandalism of a police outpost, to rue “lack of help” from senior leaders.

Around 50 Trinamul workers and lower-rung leaders have fled their homes in Birbhum’s Khoirasol following nightlong raids by the police to arrest those involved in yesterday’s attack on three cops and the ransacking of the local outpost and police cars.

Kaderi, a former acting block president of Khoirasol who is said to be an aide of Mondal, said: “We have fled our homes. We have talked to several of our leaders in Bolpur but no one is helping us. The police are ransacking our houses in the name of raids.”

Shil, another Mondal aide and a block leader in Khoirasol who too is on the run, said over phone: “I have told everything to district leaders. I will not tell you where I am.”

Birbhum Trinamul chief Mondal said the chief minister had instructed leaders during a meeting in the district on July 9 not to meddle in police matters.

“Our chief minister doesn’t want us to interfere in police matters. So we will not create pressure on the police in this case too. Let the police do their duty,” Mondal said today.

The police registered an FIR against 28 Trinamul leaders and workers last night and arrested nine persons during the raids. The police outpost in Khoirasol was vandalised by suspected Trinamul activists after the police refused to register a kidnapping complaint, finding no merit in it. An officer said Shil and Kaderi had led the attack.

After months of foot-dragging on several senior Trinamul leaders who have kicked up one controversy after another — which might have given an impression of immunity to errant grassroots leaders — the party yesterday suspended two local leaders, Das and Chanchal, who have been accused by Shyam SEL Power Ltd in Asansol of extortion attempts and issuing threats.

Asked about the discontent among a section of lower-level leaders and the inaction on Mondal and Manirul, a senior Trinamul leader in Calcutta said tonight: “It is up to the police to act according to the law. They know whom to take into custody and whom not to. We won’t interfere in the job of law-enforcers.”