The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sonia team to tour Murshidabad

Behrampore, May 21: A three-member team of Congress MPs led by Priya Ranjan Das Munshi is arriving here tomorrow to review the situation in Murshidabad, where at least 22 persons have died in post-panchayat poll violence.

“I spoke to Sonia Gandhi over phone this morning and told her again how our party supporters were being targeted by the CPM. I requested her to send a team so that it could see for itself what was going on here,” said district party chief Adhir Chowdhury.

“She first congratulated us for doing well in the panchayat polls and said she would look into the matter. Later, AICC working committee member Ahmed Patel called up to say that Soniaji had asked him to send a team of parliamentarians to Murshidabad,” he added.

The district Congress chief has lined up a series of programmes to mark the wresting of the zilla parishad from the CPM. Chowdhury said he has planned a gathering of over a lakh supporters in front of the district magistrate’s office on June 2.

“We will hold a satyagraha from 10 in the morning to six in the evening. We will have Ahmed Patel, who has promised to be present on the occasion,” Chowdhury said. The party will protest against alleged police atrocities on their successful zilla parishad candidates and reported attempts to abduct some of them.

“Since the panchayat polls, 12 Congress supporters have been murdered and over a hundred injured. Over a few hundred people have been forced to flee their villages by the rampaging CPM cadre,” Chowdhury alleged.

Chowdhury was particularly critical of Murshidabad police superintendent, Virendra, terming him to be partial and extremely corrupt. He said that the Central Bureau of Investigation should probe his activities.

Virendra, however, refused to react to the Congress leader’s allegations and stated that the police was “doing its job.”

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