The Telegraph
Tuesday , July 1 , 2014
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Price to remain silent: ‘Rs 80 lakh’

Sanwar in Calcutta on Monday. Picture by Sanjay Chattopadhyaya

Calcutta, June 30: An aide of Manirul Islam had offered Sanwar Sheikh Rs 80 lakh, jobs and houses in an attempt to prevent him from moving court alleging police inaction in probing the murder of his three brothers, the kin of the slain CPM supporters said today.

According to Sanwar, Abdul Mannan, a Trinamul vice-president in Birbhum considered close to Manirul, had called him to his house before the Lok Sabha polls in April and sought seven days to make good his promises.

Sanwar moved the high court that month, demanding a CBI probe.

“A week before the Lok Sabha polls, I was called to Mannan saheb’s house and offered Rs 80 lakh. Besides, he said he would arrange for jobs for two of my sons who appeared for Madhyamik this year and allot me three houses under the MLA quota. He also promised to give me a licence to work as a contractor,” Sanwar said.

Sanwar recalled that Mannan had asked him to request his lawyer to delay moving the high court by seven days. “He (Mannan) told me if the promises were not met within seven days, I could ask my lawyer to go ahead and file the case.”

Mannan has denied the charge.

Sanwar, who was a small-time farmer, is unemployed now. Two if his sons own a tractor, which the family rents out.

Sanwar said he was present in the kangaroo court on the night of June 3, 2010, at Manirul Islam’s house along with his five brothers and two nephews to settle a sand business dispute.

During the hearing, the father of seven sons and two daughters was the first to be hit on his head by Manirul’s aides, he recalled.

Jamal, one of the two surviving brothers, had claimed that Manirul picked up a shovel and swung it at Sanwar, making a gash in his head even before others present at the meeting could realise what was happening.

Sanwar, who had managed to escape along with his two nephews, has been hiding in Murshidabad ever since moving the court in April this year. Today, he came to Calcutta with his brother Anarul, who filed a second petition demanding a CBI probe.

Sanwar recalled that Mannan had wanted to accompany him to his lawyer in Calcutta.

After leaving Mannan’s house, Sanwar said he called up one his friends and requested him to give his car to take him and his wife to Burdwan.

Asked why he decided to move court despite the offers, he said: “How could I? Teentey bhaai key mere diyechhey chokher samney (They killed three of my brothers before my eyes). My brothers and nephews had left the village. How could I collect money?”

The youngest of Sanwar’s daughters, Tumpa Khatoon, is a Class VIII student in a local village school. Tumpa, who came to Calcutta today along with her father, said she had stopped going to school following threats from a section of suspected Trinamul workers.

Asked about the allegations, Mannan said: “Does anyone talk to someone like him (Sanwar)? He is lying. Police are probing the case. I would not like to comment.”