Passang Lama, the Trinamul president of Kalchini block in Alipurduar district, was arrested for alleged illegal activities, including timber smuggling, on Sunday.
Lama was arrested from Rangalibazna under Madarihat police station of the district. “He has been arrested in the evening. We will produce him in court tomorrow (Monday),” said Y. Raghuvamshi, SP, Alipurduar.
On February 3, chief minister Mamata Banerjee at a state level administrative review meeting at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Calcutta, had instructed Raghuvamshi to take steps against “a person based in Kalchini”. “A person from Kalchini is into illegal activities. You file an FIR and arrest him,” Mamata had said.
After this, the police and state forest department raided Lama’s brother’s place to seize illegal timber logs. Lama went into hiding and could not be contacted over phone.
Lama had contested as the Trinamul candidate from Kalchini Assembly seat last year but was defeated by the BJP. In his affidavit filed with his nomination, he referred to 12 police cases pending against him. He was also a district coordinator of the party, said sources.
“The chief minister’s message is loud and clear that she will not allow any party leader to indulge in illegal activities. The person has to face consequences as it has happened in this case. We believe such a stern step would only add to the party's reputation,” said a Trinamul leader.
Last month, two INTTUC leaders were arrested in Haldia after they resorted to demonstrations at some industrial units, he said.