| Tehatta subdivisional officer Shib Kumar Ram sprints to catch up with K.J. Rao. Picture by Amit Datta
Krishnagar, Jan. 12: When CPM state secretary Anil Biswas was inspecting the rally clean-up at the Brigade this afternoon, K.J. Rao was on the state CPM chief's home turf Nadia, trying to establish whether an Anil Biswas was a bogus voter or not.
The CPM leader need not worry. His namesake was from Bagakhali village in Tehatta, where Rao's hunt for Bangladeshis holding Indian voter identity cards took him on the fourth day of his visit.
'Does Anil Biswas live here' Rao asked villagers.
'No, he works abroad,' said one of them.
'Where, which country'
'Bangladesh,' a villager said.
'Okay,' the Election Commission observer turned away vindicated, deleting Biswas's name in his copy of the electoral rolls.
Inundated with several complaints on names of Bangladeshis in the voters' list, Rao decided to come back to Nadia on January 16. 'There is huge problem here. This district requires more time and attention. I will have to come back next week to look more deeply into the matter,' he told officials before leaving for Calcutta tonight. Rao will leave for Delhi tomorrow.
Earlier in the day, Rao's convoy stopped near Debnathpur village, where the local CPM lodged a complaint that most residents of the adjoining Bagakhali, Mobarakpur, Khanjipur, Ilshamari and Gobindapur villages were Bangladeshi nationals. The villages are located 3 km from the Bangladesh border.
Accompanied by additional district magistrate (development) J. Omdi Phipon, Tehatta subdivisional officer Shib Kumar Ram, subdivisional officer (headquarters) Ajay Sannamat and the block development officer, Rao started walking towards one of the villages.
On reaching there he found about half the houses locked. 'Is no one home' Why are they scared to talk to me' he asked the BDO.
He asked a few onlookers if they lived there and asked their names. All of them claimed they had come to visit relatives in the village but could not name even one of them.
At Debnathpur, he sought out Ashok Kumar Kundu, who had allegedly posed as father of a Bangladeshi national, Shankar Kundu, to get him enrolled in the voters' list.
'Is this your son' Rao asked Ashok, showing him a copy of the photo roll.
'No, he's not,' replied Ashok.
'But the roll mentions your name as his father. Do you know how this happened'
When Rao decided to visit villages in the interiors of Tehatta, he was told about a racket in forged citizenship documents being run by some residents at Bagakhali. One Dilip Biswas was named.
'Take my patrol car. Take any car you want from my convoy or the police ' I don't mind. But nab the man,' he told the Tehatta SDO.
After tracking down Dilip with the help from some villagers, the SDO seized some papers from his house. Dilip alleged he was being harassed by the CPM as he was a Trinamul supporter and his wife a Trinamul panchayat member.