The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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War of words after bullets

Calcutta, May 4: Accusations and bullets continued to fly in the wake of last week’s violence at Chopra in South Dinajpur.

While Congress and CPM leaders trained the blame gun on each other for instigating outrage, a fresh round of violence rocked Islampur after some “Congress-backed anti-socials” attacked CPM supporters and rained bullets on them last night.

CPM state secretary Anil Biswas today alleged that Congress-backed anti-socials had attacked their party activists with the motive of killing Kapiluddin, a member of the party’s Islampur local committee.

“Both Kapiluddin and his nephew Safiruddin are undergoing treatment at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital with critical bullet injuries. They (Congress supporters) wanted to kill them,” Biswas said. Former PCC president and party MLA Somen Mitra, on the other hand, accused the CPM of fanning violence to terrorise the electorate before the May 11 polls.

“After the murder of their party leader in Chopra, four of our supporters were brutally murdered. Instead of issuing whips against the Congress, the CPM should restrain its cadres engaged in terrorising the rural population,” said Mitra who is touring Cooch Behar.

Mitra claimed that 50,000 Congress supporters were rendered homeless following the series of murders in Chopra.

Biswas, however, debunked Mitra’s allegations. “Thirteen of our party activists were killed in the state since the announcement of the rural polls. They sacrificed their lives to protect law and order. We don’t believe in terrorism like the Congress, which had established lawlessness in Bengal during mid-70s,” Biswas said.

Asked why four Congress supporters were killed immediately after the murder of their party leader in Chopra, Biswas said the Congressmen were victims of mob fury and “none of our party activists were involved in the killings”. He said the CPM would not protect any activist found guilty of the murder of Congress supporters in Chopra.

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