Canning, Feb. 18: A Trinamul Congress panchayat chief and his deputy were arrested here early today for their alleged involvement in the murder of a CPM worker five years ago.
Kisalay Mondal, the Taldi panchayat pradhan, and Subal Naskar were picked up from their houses early this morning.
Tension ran high. Trinamul called a bandh and shops downed shutters. Train services were paralysed for more than three hours. Buses did not ply.
Local MLA Gobinda Naskar led demonstrations outside the local police station. The mob had to be lathicharged when it tried to prevent the police from taking Mondal and Naskar to court.
South 24-Parganas additional superintendent of police (rural), S.S. Panda, and sub-divisional police officer of Canning Subhankar Sinha Sarkar are camping in the area. The Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the Combat Force were deployed during the day.
Around 1.30 am, a police team led by the officer in-charge of Canning police station, Dhrubajyoti Banerjee, picked up the duo.
Gobinda Naskar alleged that the policemen dragged them out of their houses in the dead of night and beat up the women members as they tried to prevent them.
“It was strange that Mondal and Naskar were arrested in connection with an incident that happened four years ago. The entire plan was hatched by the CPM with an eye on the panchayat elections,” the MLA said.
CPM supporter Bagrol Gazi was killed in 1998. Gobinda Naskar said even Gobral’s father Yunus told the police today his son was lynched on his way back to Taldi after committing a dacoity. “There was no political motive.”
District CPM leader Sanjoy Putatunda said: “Gazi was a member of the party. They are telling stories to create confusion and cover up facts.”
“The cases were pending for a long time but Mondal and Naskar could not be arrested due to lack of evidence,” said Panda. He added that the Trinamul leaders were alleging harassment of the women to divert attention.
Around 400 supporters of the Bangasena, an outfit comprising Bangladeshi refugees settled in and around Bongaon, were arrested near the Petrapole border in North 24-Parganas this evening, reports our correspondent.
Additional superintendent of police, Barasat, R. Rajshekharan said they were among 1,500 people trying to enter Bangladesh. Sources said they were protesting the “problems” that had forced them to flee the country.