Calcutta, Oct. 31: The CPM will investigate the hatkata Dilip affair which threatens to suck into its vortex several leaders, including transport minister Subhas Chakraborty.
Party leaders said from Delhi that a decision would be taken on allegations of Dilip's links with CPM functionaries after conducting a probe independent of the police inquiry.
Anil Biswas, state CPM secretary, who was away in Delhi along with other leaders attending the party's politburo and central committee meetings, took the evening flight back to Calcutta. 'He will oversee the process of setting up our inquiry,' a leader said.
Biswas declined comment on Dilip's alleged links with Chakraborty before having a chat with the minister. 'Only then can I say anything,' he said. Asked if the party was sheltering criminals, Biswas said: 'The CPM does not offer shelter. When antisocials get arrested, they make allegations against the party.'
Hatkata Dilip's arrest from the house of a leading footballer, Sasthi Duley, and the involvement of another, Dipankar Roy, who took the criminal to the shelter, and, above all, the alleged links with Chakraborty came as a jolt to the leadership.
Jyoti Basu, Biman Bose, Biswas and others have sought details from Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. 'There has to be an independent party inquiry,' they said.
It will be difficult to make the charge against Chakraborty stick. For, Dilip Banerjee, or hatkata Dilip, was not Chakraborty's exclusive preserve and had access to other local leaders, including those that belong to the transport minister's rival camp in North 24-Parganas.
Chakraborty himself has denied knowing the criminal, but Sasthi Duley's family has claimed that Dilip was taken in at the minister's instance.
Given the possibility that several CPM leaders may have used Dilip's services, stirring the pot too much might not be a desirable option for the party for the worms that could come crawling out.
Although the chief minister himself led the initiative to arrest Dilip, a large chunk of the party leadership questions the role of police after the Avtar Singh case. Avtar, the husband of CPM MP from Krishnagar Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, was picked up from his hotel at Salt Lake in August.
A party truth committee found the police guilty of committing 'excesses' while raiding the hotel.
The leadership had brought it to the attention of the government that the police had arrested two criminals in course of a raid on another Salt Lake hotel months before the crackdown on Merlin Park, but did not touch the hotel owner who was present on the premises.