Cowdung cakes for CPM

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Burdwan
  • Published 18.11.07
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Burdwan, Nov. 18: Five local CPM leaders were trussed up in their office, beaten and paraded with garlands of slippers and cowdung cakes around their necks in party bastion Burdwan. They were accused of favouritism in an official list of the poorest of poor.

The thrashing — the third in the district in a little over a month since ration riots swept through south Bengal — took place this morning at Saloon Mollahpara, in the Khandaghosh area, about 140km from Calcutta.

Around 600 villagers marched to the party office in the village around 11am and demanded that the leaders arrive immediately. When the five arrived, they were accused of bias in recommending names to be included in the below-poverty-line (BPL) list.

The CPM is yet to lodge a police complaint but the party’s zonal committee secretary in Khandaghosh, Mafuz Rahman, admitted that the five were beaten up.

Those who faced the villagers’ fury were Sambhu Ghosh and Shanti Ari, both local committee members of the party, and Islam Sheikh, Arup Ghosh and Dhiren Majhi, all of whom belonged to the branch committee.

“We have heard that the villagers paraded them with garlands of chappals and ghunte around their necks. We are trying to find out the details and we will lodge a police complaint if necessary,” said Rahman.

Anger over the alleged bias in the BPL list has been rising for sometime.

“We don’t get job cards for the Centre’s scheme that guarantees work to one member of a BPL family for 100 days in a year. Some villagers get their names on the list and get job cards but we never do,” said local resident Maniruzzaman Sheikh.

On October 7, Nababhat MLA Pradip Tah, local committee member Abdul Jabbar and district committee member Ganesh Chowdhury were beaten up for siding with a ration dealer accused of smuggling out grain and selling it in the black market.

On October 26, three leaders were thrashed at Bhatakul village in Bhatar when they tried to save a dealer from being attacked by ration protesters.