The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Party backs Subhas

Calcutta, Nov. 3: After letting senior leader Subhas Chakraborty soak up the pressure of allegations about links with arrested criminal Dilip Banerjee, better known as hatkata Dilip, for five days, the CPM rose to his defence.

'The allegations about Chakraborty's nexus with hatkata Dilip are baseless and motivated. This is a non-issue and has been blown out of proportion by a section of the print and electronic media. The CPM state secretariat has strongly condemned such a malicious propaganda involving our minister, who is also a member of the party's state committee,' Anil Biswas, the CPM's Bengal unit secretary, said today.

Dilip was wanted in connection with several cases of murder and extortion, including twin killings in June at a soiree. He was arrested from the home of national footballer Sasthi Duley last Friday.

Biswas said a rumour spread by a person who identified himself as the footballer's relative triggered the allegation. 'I don't want to name that irresponsible person. But it's regrettable that nobody bothers to check whether his statements are true,' he said.

The CPM leader, however, claimed that the party would not hesitate to take disciplinary action against functionaries if they are found to have links with hatkata Dilip or any other criminal. 'Ours is the only party which takes steps on a regular basis against infiltration by criminals,' he said.

But the CPM's allies have said the party is giving the ruling coalition a bad name.

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