Malda, Dec. 17: The Intuc has called a 12-hour general strike throughout Malda district tomorrow demanding the arrest and exemplary punishment of those accused in the murder of the trade union’s leader and vice-chairman of the Englishbazar municipality, Biswanath Guha.
Intuc members roamed the streets in vehicles fitted with loudspeakers to spread the word about the strike. Guha was murdered on the evening of June 22, 2008.
“Police have not been able to crack the case and has failed to file the chargesheet even after one-and-a-half years. We had questions about the police role from the very beginning. They do not seem to be very keen in solving the case,” said Intuc district president Kazi Nazrul Islam.
He said on November 26, the police suddenly arrested a close aide of Guha, Ganesh Banerjee, and on December 8, a person called Shyamal Majumdar, surrendered before the court. “The investigating officer, Shyam Singh, who was the deputy superintendent of police, was transferred,” he said. Just as the murder case was taking a fresh turn, he said, the transfer of the investigating officer has created a void in the progress of the case. “We strongly feel that the police are deliberately trying to put the case on the backburner. The two recently arrested men were not interrogated properly. Ganesh Banerjee is presently in hospital. He was taken in police remand after his arrest, but now he has been sent to the hospital. We had submitted a memorandum to the police superintendent a week ago, but nothing has moved. So as a mark of protest we have decided to call a 12-hour strike tomorrow,” Islam said.
The strike is expected to impact Malda, known to be a Congress bastion and Intuc is the party’s labour wing.
But the Congress MLA of Englishbazar Krishnendu Chowdhury said the bandh had been called without consulting the party. “However, we will neither support nor oppose the bandh,” he said.
Malda district magistrate Sridhar Ghosh said government offices would remain open tomorrow.
Superintendent of police Bhuban Mondol claimed that the investigations on the Guha murder case was “proceeding in the right direction”.
“The chargesheet will be submitted on time. As far as tomorrow’s bandh is concerned, the police will see to it that there is no breach of peace,” Mondol said.