CPM reopens Khejuri offices

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  • Published 24.03.11

Tamluk, March 23: The CPM today reopened 20 of its offices in Khejuri, which had been locked up for the past 21 months after being allegedly vandalised by the Trinamul Congress.

The CPM had closed all the 120 party offices in the East Midnapore pocket after Trinamul workers allegedly ransacked and set ablaze some of them in June 2009, a month after the Lok Sabha polls. Thousands of CPM workers and supporters had also fled their homes “because of Trinamul attacks”.

This morning, 50 CPM leaders led a procession of around 500 party workers in Khejuri block II, where they first reopened the local committee office. Nirapada Das, the secretary of the local committee, asked the party workers to clean the office. Later, he hoisted the party flag there.

Then the leaders and workers marched to Dekhali market, 2km away, with the Left candidate for the Khejuri Assembly seat — Asim Mondal of the West Bengal Socialist Party.

By evening, 19 branch committee offices had been reopened in Khejuri block II. “By Sunday, we hope to reopen all the party offices,” Das said.

Ranjit Mondal, the Trinamul candidate from Khejuri, said his party had “no objection” to the reopening of the CPM offices but warned of “an agitation by villagers” if arms and explosives were stocked in them.

In the past few weeks, nearly 1,500 of the 5,000-odd CPM workers and supporters who had fled their homes have returned, party sources said.

Between March 5 and 6, around 500 CPM workers returned to their homes in Khejuri following the deployment of central forces on pre-poll duty. But, the process suffered a setback when Trinamul activists allegedly beat some of them up and forced them to walk in party processions.

But more CPM workers started trickling in again after district magistrate Archana and police superintendent Ajit Sarkar visited Khejuri on March 15 and assured the party supporters and functionaries of security.