The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Coin payback in Krishnagar

Krishnagar, Nov. 14: A CPM mob beat up people, forced shops to down shutters and ransacked the Krishnagar municipality today, screaming: “If we can do it in Nandigram, why not here'”

The provocation for the eye-for-an-eye assault that the chief minister had defended in the case of Nandigram was a bid on the life of youth wing leader Arup Das.

The primary school teacher was shot at this morning, but the bullets missed him.

CPM supporters armed with sticks and rods assembled minutes later and raided the Congress-run municipality, where the party has been in a minority for two decades.

The cadres smashed chairs, tables, computers, fax machines and windowpanes in the municipality, a stone’s throw from the police station.

Chairman Uday Mitra said he called the police frantically, but they did not come.

The cadres hurled stones at an ambulance belonging to the civic body and snapped electric and telephone lines. Former Trinamul MLA Shibdas Mukherjee was caught on the road and slapped.

In Calcutta, the chief minister was asked if Nandigram’s coin throwback will be repeated if the government machinery failed elsewhere. He said: “Nandigram is an abnormal and exceptional case.”

Cadres who hollered, “Aamra jodi Nandigrame paari, ekhane paarbo na keno'”, didn’t think so.

Several primary schools locked their gates after classes and held the children back out of fear. EFR jawans were deployed in the town.

Das said: “I was on my mo-torcycle. I saw them firing and sped to my school. My supporters took to the streets.”

The party criticised its cadres for their behaviour. “I am shocked. We’ve asked the police to arrest the culprits,” said district secretary Ashu Ghosh.

The police will also probe their own “inaction”.

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