Keshpur (West Midnapore), Sept. 24: The attempt by hooded gunmen to take control of CPM-dominated villages in Keshpur early on Sunday was the handiwork of the Trinamul Congress, district superintendent of police K.C. Meena said today.
“District intelligence officials had prior information that they (the Trinamul activists) were getting prepared, but we did not know when they will strike,” he added.
Officials of the Central and state intelligence branches working in Keshpur confirmed that local Trinamul leader Mohammad Rafique and his associates had engineered Sunday’s attack.
Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee, however, sent a fax message to deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani on the same day, blaming the CPM for waging war on Trinamul workers who were returning home after being on the run for over a year. She also denied any involvement of partymen in the violence that rocked Keshpur recently.
Inspector-general of police, law and order, Chayan Mukherjee said in Calcutta the two bodies recovered from the area could not be handed over to the relatives as none of them had turned up till late this evening. “One of the bodies was identified as that of Mohammad Alauddin. But even that remains unclaimed,” he said.
“We have arrested 33 people in connection with Sunday’s violence. More arrests are likely in a day or two as massive raids are being conducted,” he added.
Mukherjee said the situation is under control. No further casualty has been reported. “However, Trinamul had alleged yesterday that seven of its supporters were missing. We are probing this,” he said.
Keshpur was quiet for one-and-a-half years till the recent attack, in which about 200 miscreants from outside the area were allegedly involved.
Trinamul’s claims that it was the homecoming of its displaced workers following a peace meeting were dismissed by CPM’s state secretary Anil Biswas and Left Front chairman Biman Bose. Both blamed Trinamul and the People’s War for the attacks. However, officials are yet to establish the involvement of the Naxalites in the violence.
The leaders maintained that the presence of outsiders from Salboni in the attacks disproved the Trinamul’s contention that it was a peaceful homecoming.