Agartala, Nov. 18: The indiscretions of two sitting MLAs — Shankar Prasad Dutta of Barjala Assembly constituency, north of Agartala, and newly elected Tapan Chandra Das of Nalchhar Assembly constituency of Sipahijala district — has led to vehement criticism of the Left Front by the Opposition Congress.
The CPM has distanced itself from MLA Shankar Prasad Dutta but has remained silent on the issue of Tapan Chandra Das.
On November 12, Dutta had invaded the East Agartala police station with followers and forced officer in-charge Parthasarathi Paul to set free two criminals apprehended under the Arms Act after showering abuses on him and other policemen.
The Congress had then demanded immediate arrest of the MLA.
CPM party secretary Bijan Dhar had told reporters that Dutta had acted “unwisely and in total opposition to the policies and principles of the party”.
The police registered a case against Dutta, invoking non-bailable Section 353 IPC.
Fearing arrest, Dutta had appeared in court yesterday to seek anticipatory bail but the judge postponed the case for hearing next Monday.
In another incident, the service pistol of Nalchhar MLA Tapan Das’s personal security officer, Shyamal Das, had allegedly gone off accidentally and the bullet hit Tapan Das’s sister-in-law Arati in the abdomen on November 14.
The injured lady was rushed to Melaghar hospital and from there to ILS hospital, Agartala, but neither of the hospitals informed the police of the incident.
Melaghar police station registered a suo moto case and arrested Shyamal Das yesterday. His statement, recorded by the police, said his service pistol had accidentally fallen on the ground and hit Arati.
“It seems prima facie that it was really an accidental firing but since the matter is still under investigation we should not say anything more. The police have visited Tapan Das’s residence in Nalchhar and recorded statements of inmates and witnesses,” said sub-divisional police officer (Melaghar) Manik Lodh.
However, the Congress has taken out rallies across the state. In Melaghar, Congress MLA Subal Bhowmik led a massive demonstration, demanding the arrest of Tapan Das. “We are continuing the protest today and demanding arrest of the MLA who is the real culprit. According to our information, Tapan Das had fired at his sister-in-law because of a longstanding property dispute,” said Bhowmik.
PCC president Sudip Roy Barman also demanded the arrest of Shankar Prasad. “The CPM is actually trying to save Shankar Prasad and its own face. He should be immediately arrested,” he said.