MIFFED MAMATA LETS CADRE LOOSE ON COPS 

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By FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 11.02.02
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Tamluk, Feb. 11 :    Tamluk, Feb. 11:  Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said it was "just vandalism". For Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee, it was a lesson taught to the "corrupt administration". The end-result: 36 injured policemen and a ransacked bungalow. Among the injured were Purba Midnapore superintendent of police Anuj Sharma and additional superintendent of police Abhijit Sengupta. Egged on by Mamata, Trinamul supporters on a jail-bharo andolan here, attacked district magistrate Anil Verma's bungalow which also housed his office, damaged vehicles and brickbatted even the superintendent of police and the sub-divisional police officer of Tamluk, Kalyan Banerjee. Police had to burst teargas shells and fire in the air to disperse the mob. "Trinamul demanded that the police announce that they have arrested a lakh of their supporters, when we gave clear instructions to the district administration that the number of persons arrested will not be revealed," the chief minister told reporters at Writers' Buildings. He added that over 3,000 people were still squatting on the road there. Asked if the police would act against the picketers, Bhattacharjee said: "Let us see what we can do." On Mamata's role in the incident, the chief minister said: "Why don't you find out if she is there?" Mamata arrived here to take part in the jail-bharo programme this afternoon. A dais was set up in the ground near the district magistrate's bungalow. The police claim between 5,000 and 6,000 people turned up. Trouble began after Mamata demanded that either the district magistrate or the superintendent of police come to the dais and announce that one lakh of her supporters had been arrested. Instructed by her, Dipak Ghosh, an MLA from the district, and some party supporters went to the superintendent of police who was standing near the dais and told him about Mamata's demand. But the superintendent shrugged it off. Furious at being let down, Mamata asked senior party leaders to meet the district magistrate, but he also refused. After that all hell broke loose. "The police proved to have immense patience and resilience and for that so many of them were badly hurt," Verma said.