The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shutdown shooting at flashpoint Jamboni

Jamboni (West Midnapore), Oct. 27: Fresh violence erupted in Jamboni this morning following an attack on a local CPM leader even as the party observed a dawn-to-dusk bandh in protest against yesterday’s killings.

Jharkhand Party (Naren Hansda) activists opened fire on Balaram Jana, a primary school teacher and CPM leader, in Ergoda village despite strict police vigil after yesterday’s violence. No arrests have so far been made in connection with the incident.

Jana is the head teacher of Guiara Primary School and secretary of the Jamboni unit of the CPM-controlled Nikhil Banga Primary Teachers’ Association. Police said he was cycling home when two miscreants on a motorcycle stopped Jana and shot at him around 9 am. He was hit in the abdomen.

Shops here remained shut and vehicles stayed off the roads throughout the day.

Jana was rushed to a local hospital from where doctors referred him to the Midnapore Sadar Hospital. Sources said he was in a critical condition.

Later, CPM leaders in the district said attempts are being made to shift him to NRS Hospital in Calcutta.

The Pradesh Congress Committee secretariat will meet in Calcutta tomorrow to decide on whether the party will call a Bangla bandh to protest the violence in which one of its supporters was killed.

The president of the party’s state unit, Pranab Mukherjee, blamed the CPM for the bloodspill. “If we want to call a bandh, it can be done in a day. But a bandh is not the solution. We have to organise a political movement,” he said.

This afternoon, the police had a tough time escorting former Congress chief and MLA Somen Mitra to Jamboni as about 10,000 CPM workers gathered at Dubra village, where district party secretary Dipak Sarkar and Dahar Sen held a public meeting against the killing of party supporters.

On arrival, Mitra wanted to meet the family of Mohini Mohan Sarangi — the Congress activist killed yesterday. The police initially refused to allow Mitra and Chunibala Hansda, Naren Hansda’s widow and president of the Jharkhand Party (Naren), enter Jamboni fearing fresh violence, but later relented.

RSP quit call

A section of the RSP has urged the state party leadership to quit the Left Front in protest against “the CPM’s highhandedness” in the districts.

“We have to consider it seriously...whether we will continue with the ruling Front at all. The CPM cadre are regularly beating up our supporters. They don’t even spare our leaders,” senior RSP members said at the two-day state committee meeting of the party that concluded on Friday.

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