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Leader threatened by Tapas arrested

Krishnagar, July 31: Police are yet to take action against Tapas Paul but today they arrested a CPM worker whose house the Trinamul MP had exhorted his cadres to demolish.

Rafiqul Sheikh has been booked under a host of charges, including attempt to murder and rioting, in connection with political clashes in May and an attack on a police camp. He has been taken into four days’ police custody.

The day Paul delivered his “rape-and-shoot” speech in Nadia’s Choumaha, he had assured party workers at another meeting in nearby Teghori village that he would shield against police action those who demolished Rafiqul’s house. The comments on Rafiqul were first aired on TV channels on July 1.

Addressing party workers, Paul had said: “There will be no CPM here. I will catch Rafiqul in any which way I can…. Listen carefully… if he comes… keep axes and blades handy and then attack…. I will see who takes you to jail…. If anybody related to Rafiqul is here… where does he live? In this village? If you can demolish his house, I will know you have guts…. Demolish his house if you can.… I will be there and will see what the police do.… Pick up axes… I will not let Rafiqul go.”

Rafiqul’s wife Manwara Biwi today alleged that after Paul’s speech, local Trinamul workers had ransacked her house. “My husband was framed by the police to satisfy the Trinamul leadership. Trinamul workers ransacked our house. We are being threatened by local Trinamul activists,” she said.

Police sources said Rafiqul had been booked in connection with clashes on May 12, when the Lok Sabha polls were held in Nadia, and May 13.

“Workers of both parties fired shots and hurled bombs at each other on May 12. The CPM, which has a stronger base in the area, chased away the Trinamul supporters. There were several other clashes in the area after this,” an officer of Nakashipara police station said.

The officer said Rafiqul had allegedly led an attack on a police camp in Teghori. Rafiqul was named in an FIR lodged on May 13 by some Trinamul workers.

A senior police officer said Rafiqul had been absconding. The officer added that two guns and three cartridges had been seized from him.