Villagers return looted food & fuel

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By OUR BUREAU
  • Published 10.10.07
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Oct. 10: One district continued to bear the brunt of the ration wrath, while another saw villagers return looted goods to dealers.

CPM workers led by Nabagram MLA Mukul Mondal and zonal committee secretary Sunil Ghosh went to Murshidabad’s Singar last night and persuaded villagers to hand back the things they had snatched from ration dealers.

The villagers, escorted by policemen, got to work from 11 this morning, carrying kerosene barrels, sacks of foodgrain and household articles, including television sets.

“We are grateful to Mukul Mondal and Sunil Ghosh. It is because of them we got our stocks back,” said Anil Pal.

“We have to persuade the people not to take law into their hands,” Mondal said.

However, the violence continued unabated in Burdwan, where residents of Belerhat village took away kerosene from a dealer and set his shop on fire.

Nearly 600 villagers marched to Lutfar Rahman’s house-cum-shop around noon and demanded “compensation” for the foodgrain he had allegedly been hoarding for the past 11 months.

“His family members managed to put out the fire in the house but the shop was gutted,” said Rathindranath Mukherjee, the inspector in charge of Purbasthali police station.

An FIR was filed and police picked up five persons named in the complaint. Nearly 3,000 villagers later gheraoed the police station demanding their release.

In Birbhum, police last night arrested Prashanta Mal, a Forward Bloc member of the Shitalgram panchayat, on the charge of instigating villagers to pressure ration dealer Chandrakishore Narasundar to pay Rs 27 lakh as fine and abetting his son Utpal’s suicide.

CPM state secretary Biman Bose, said in Calcutta that a conspiracy had been hatched to break down the public distribution system in a planned manner. “A section of common people is confused and has joined the anarchy.”