The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Green massacre for ‘revenge’

Balurghat, Dec. 7: A patch of vegetable and banana plants owned by a retired schoolteacher was chopped up by a group of hooligans today for protesting against drug and alcohol abuse.

Pradip Basu, who had once taught at Lalitmohan Adarsha Uchcha Vidyalaya, is also a member of the Paschim Banga Vigyan Manch.

Police said the criminals are yet to be identified, although Basu alleged that they were moving around boldly even after yesterday’s incident. They had taken advantage of the absence of the family members last night — they had gone out to attend a wedding— to go on the rampage on the four-acre plot adjacent to Basu’s house at North Chakbhabani. He said he discovered the vandalism this morning.

Soon after he lodged a complaint with the Balurghat police station, a team visited the spot. The inspector-in-charge of the Balurghat police station, Dhiman Sarkar, said no one had been arrested.

The CPM has accused the police of being inactive. “Criminals are taking advantage of their apathy,” said district CPM secretary Manobesh Chowdhury.

“A group of youths from the adjacent Chhinnamasta Colony used the garden for illegal activities. They even used to sit and drink there. I had protested several times and this is how they took revenge,” Basu said. “The criminals are boldly moving around in the area. They destroyed about 150 banana trees and uprooted potato, sweet pea and cauliflower plants in my garden,” he added.

The additional superintendent of police of Balurghat, Imran Wahab, said the police were investigating the case and the criminals would be arrested soon.

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