Wilson speech censure from TMC

Alipurduar legislator Champramary calls DM names, threatens to burn government offices

By OUR BUREAU
  • Published 22.06.15
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Wilson Champramary

June 21: The Trinamul Alipurduar district chief today criticised party MLA Wilson Champramary for his alleged use of abusive language against district officials, which is now being circulated as a video.

In the 45-second clip, the legislator from Kalchini in Alipurduar district is shown speaking over phone to a government official, yet to be identified. He threatens to burn the subdivisional and the BDO office. The MLA then uses expletives while speaking about the district magistrate. He also threatens he will "complain to the CM against the DM".

All the while, a cluster of people stand and listen to the MLA in Jaigaon. After he switches off the phone, they clap and hoot. Jaigaon is part of Champramary's constituency, Kalchini, in Alipurduar.

The row was over the erection of a wall by alleged encroachers on a government plot which the district officials had demolished.

Sources in the district administration said district magistrate Alice Vaz and SDO Samiran Mondal were part of the team that went to the Jaigaon site in early June. Vaz or Mondal could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

" Ami shobai ke jalaya mere debo....SDO...BDO...officey. DM ke, boundary wall bhengeche.... (I will set on fire the SDO's and BDO's offices. Who is the district magistrate to demolish the boundary wall)?" he was heard saying and calling the district magistrate names.

" Atho boro sahas ke diyeche (Who has given them such powers)?" he shouted.

Sourav Chakraborty, the Alipurduar district Trinamul president, said today: "Whatever the MLA has said was undesirable. We do not endorse such reactions against government officials."

He said he had informed party seniors about Champramary's actions.

Trinamul secretary-general Partha Chatterjee, when asked if the party had decided to take action against Champramary, said on Sunday night: "I have not sought any explanation from anybody."

The phone conversation, which happened on June 11, is reminiscent of Trinamul MP Tapas Paul's rape-and-shoot speech at Choumaha in Krishnagar last year.

Today Champramary was asked why he used abusive language while speaking about government officials.

"People came and told me that the administration had demolished their homes. I was surprised as I am the local MLA and the chairman of JDA (Jaigaon Development Authority) and yet, the DM, SDO or the BDO did not inform me. I was worried to see the distressed people who came and complained to me," said the Kalchini MLA, who fought the Assembly election as an Independent and was inducted into Trinamul later.

An Alipurduar district official said: "No house was damaged and not a single resident has been evicted during the drive. An illegal boundary wall has only been demolished. We fail to understand why the MLA reacted in such a manner. Many of our officers are disappointed as they have learnt about the phone call and have even seen the video."

In the 45-second video clip, Champramary is not heard speaking about the demolition of homes, only a wall.

Champramary today said: "I was irritated and disappointed and called up some official of the district administration and questioned the drive. I asked him how the BDO, SDO and DM can conduct such drives without relocating people and elaborating on their compensations."

He added: "During the phone call, I made some remarks as I was agitated then. The entire issue, however, was resolved later and I have spoken to the district magistrate and other officials," he said.

The MLA said the phone conversation with the official happened on June 11, which district officials corroborated.

In the first week of June, a team of district officials and policemen went to the Gopimohan ground in Jaigaon to clear an encroached portion of a government plot.

"A boundary wall had been raised. The entire wall was demolished and the administration took possession of the land and put up a board there," an official said on the condition of anonymity.

After the administrative team left the site, some local people informed Champramary.

The MLA went to the spot on June 11. Seeing him, local people assembled and he assured them about taking action. After that he made the phone call to the administrative official and started hurling abuses.

The district official said: "Encroachment of government land is an old problem here. We have taken up the task of taking possession of government land after instructions came from the state that land would be required to make this area a smart city. On the other hand, the local MLA is hurling abuses at us."

Champramary repeatedly said on June 11 and today that he was not informed of the drive.

A senior government official explained that it was not necessary for the district administration to inform an MLA or the chief of a local development authority - the Kalchini MLA is the chief of the Jaigaon Development Authority - about drives to clear encroachments on government land.

"Agencies such as the JDA are development agencies and have nothing to do with removal of encroachers from government land. It is entirely the task of the district administration. The local MLA might be informed out of courtesy to take him into confidence and to prevent any law and order problem but it is not mandatory. The administration can hand over such land to development agencies for execution of planned projects," the official said.

The senior official, who is not linked to the clearing of this encroachment, said: "The MLA seems to have confused his position as JDA chairman with the authority of a local-self government such as a municipality or a panchayat. If he would have been a civic body chairman or a panchayat pradhan, the administration would have informed him."

Champramary today said: "First of all, we have resolved the issue. Second, as people came to me and sought intervention, I acted as their representative. After so many days, the media is unnecessarily trying to blame me."

Sources said Champramary has a number of criminal cases pending against him, some of which he had even mentioned at the affidavit which he had filed while contesting from Kalchini in the 2011 Assembly polls as an Independent.

"He has cases like assaulting public servants, preventing them from discharging their duty and even cases of assault or use of criminal force against women with intent to outrage her modesty, pending against him," a local CPM leader in Alipurduar said.

District Congress leaders criticised Champramary for such comments.

"The district magistrate should not sit silent and should immediately tender her resignation. Trinamul has turned into a party of anti-socials who take no time in insulting people and even senior administrative officials. We want the state and the party to take stringent steps immediately so that no other public representative or Trinamul leader speaks in such derogatory manners with administrative officials," Biswaranjan Sarkar, a PCC member from Alipurduar, said.