'Threat' lock on CPM offices in Khejuri

Fresh threats and renewed assaults allegedly by Trinamul workers have forced the CPM to close down many of its offices in Khejuri the Left party had reopened before the polls following assurances from the Election Commission.

By ANSHUMAN PHADIKAR
  • Published 30.05.16
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Tamluk, May 29: Fresh threats and renewed assaults allegedly by Trinamul workers have forced the CPM to close down many of its offices in Khejuri the Left party had reopened before the polls following assurances from the Election Commission.

At least a dozen CPM offices are again under lock and key within days of the central forces leaving the area. CPM leaders in East Midnapore have alleged that they closed down the offices fearing damage to property because of "Trinamul threats and assaults".

Himangshu Das, a CPM district committee member who fled his Khejuri home after the poll results were declared on May 19, said: "After Trinamul won the seat, violence started again. The brother of one of our party leaders was murdered even before the results were declared. Our leaders and workers are being threatened and assaulted every day. About 150 party cadres have fled homes and we have been forced to close down all zonal and local committee offices."

Asim Mondal, an Independent candidate backed by the Left-Congress alliance in Khejuri, lost to Trinamul's Ranajit Mondal by 42,485 votes. Ranajit had won by an almost similar margin in 2011.

The CPM secretary of the Janka local committee in Khejuri, Dipali Mondal, said: "We had opened many of our offices and returned homes five years after leaving the village because of Trinamul threats. We had been assured safety by the Election Commission and we gained confidence because of the central forces. We had hoped the alliance would win this time and we would be able to live in peace. But the result was the opposite and the central forces too have returned."

On one side of the Talpati canal is Nandigram, while Khejuri is on the other. During the land movement of 2007, armed CPM cadres used to cross the canal and attack the Opposition in Nandigram almost every day. But since the 2009 Lok Sabha polls in which Trinamul won the Contai seat, allegiances started shifting.

Trinamul accused the CPM of triggering the violence.

MLA Ranajit Mondal said: "Voting was held this time under the strict watch of the central forces. People in Khejuri have voted against the Left, remembering the attacks in Nandigram. Those who are fleeing homes were directly involved with the violence then. They have closed their offices out of fear and are accusing Trinamul of attacking them. The allegations are baseless."

In Haldia, 20km away, the situation is the opposite. Here, Trinamul leaders are alleging that supporters of the CPM, which won the seat, were attacking their workers and offices.

Trinamul candidate and zilla parishad chairperson Madhurima Mandal, who lost to the CPM's Tapasi Mondal by 21,493 votes in Haldia, has accused the CPM of ransacking her party's offices and assaulting workers.

Tapasi denied this today.

"A section of Trinamul supporters has voted for me. It is infighting in Trinamul and not our supporters who are attacking them. Though we have won the seat, we do not have enough organisational strength to carry out such attacks," she said.

The Left leaders have lodged a complaint with district police chief Alok Rajoria.

"We are examining the complaint. The situation is under control," Rajoria said.