The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Balm, after the bruises
- MLA reaches out to family in fear

Tormentors have turned protectors and assurances have replaced threats. In a dramatic turn of events, Kidderpore’s Jha family is finally starting to feel safe thanks to the hand of compassion extended by Congress activists led by Kabitirtha MLA Ram Pyare Ram.

“I spoke to the Jhas and assured all possible help from the party. I will try my best to ensure that no harm is done to the family,” said Ram, who visited the Karl Marx Sarani residence of Dhaneswar Jha on Monday morning.

Bikram, Dhaneswar’s eldest son, lost his life on October 21 after standing up to local goons over Kali puja subscription.

But the tragedy did not end there. The Jha family was hounded at every step and the main accused Bhola and Dipu — members of Adi Shakti Club and Congress supporters — roamed free to threaten the Jhas with dire consequences if they did not withdraw their complaint.

Metro had reported the plight of the family on December 8 and 9 (see grab above), prompting the state Congress leadership to intervene.

Denying that he had asked Dhaneswar to withdraw complaint against Bhola and Dipu, Ram formally distanced himself from the Adi Shakti Club.

The Congress MLA was the signatory — as the club’s president — to the disputed subscription bill that later caused the assault on Bikram for refusing to pay up.

Ram, when he met Bikram’s family, claimed that he and his party had nothing to do with the “killers”.

“I have instructed officers of South Port police station to take stringent action against those terrorising the family. I have also asked local youths to help police in tracking down the accused duo,” declared Ram.

Police have arrested two of the accused, Pankaj Gupta and Rajlal Srivastava, but Bhola and Dipu are still at large.

Last week, Dhaneswar had filed a petition at Calcutta High Court alleging police inaction in the case, forcing his family to live in fear and be under virtual house arrest.

But the employee of the Nepal Consulate office looked relieved at the sudden turn of events. “The Congress party workers are visiting us everyday… We have not got anymore threats after Saturday. I have rejoined duty and my daughter has started going to school again,” said Dhaneswar.

But he appealed to the Congress MLA from Kabitirtha and police to help him get justice. “They murdered my 20-year-old son for nothing and should get exemplary punishment,” demanded Dhaneswar.

Following the political prod, South Port police have stepped up raids in various parts of the port area.

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