The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM clean chit to Suhrid

Calcutta, June 30: The CPM today said a party probe had shown that Singur leader Suhrid Dutta did not have any role in Tapasi Malik’s rape and murder.

“We have conducted an internal probe that has given us no reason to believe that Suhrid could have been involved in the crime,” CPM state secretariat member Benoy Konar said after a meeting last night with leaders from Hooghly district, under which Singur falls.

What the leaders had factored in was that after spearheading the land acquisition drive in Singur, there was little reason why the zonal committee secretary would put the party in a spot by masterminding the killing of an “inconsequential girl”, sources said.

“Suhrid would have been well aware that committing a crime of this nature would land the party in deep trouble,” said a leader who attended the meeting.

Konar, who chaired the meeting in the absence of CPM state secretary Biman Bose, piled heat on the CBI. “We do feel that Suhrid was a victim of a political conspiracy. It is unfortunate that the CBI is acting with a motive despite being a central agency. This should not have happened,” he said.

“That is why, I am saying with confidence that the CBI has framed Dutta in order to malign the party.”

Last night’s meeting at the CPM’s Alimuddin Street headquarters was also called to draw up a strategy on how to deal with the fallout of Suhrid’s arrest.

Two of Suhrid’s comrades in the land acquisition campaign — Balai Sabui, a district secretariat member, and Srikanta Chatterjee, a peasant leader — were present at the meeting.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who was in Siliguri, was informed about the outcome of the party probe.

Saroj Dutta, Suhrid’s younger brother and a CPM leader, echoed his party’s argument. “Tell me, why would my elder brother, who had been assigned to oversee the smooth acquisition of land for the Tata project, be involved in such a heinous act' Is he such a fool'” he asked.

Konar, however, made it clear that the party had nothing to do with Debu Malik, the key accused in the Tapasi case. Both Debu and Suhrid have been remanded in 14 days’ CBI custody.

The CPM zonal committee met in Singur in the evening and distributed workload among its four members.

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