A cousin of slain student activist Anis Khan was injured in an alleged attack by Trinamul Congress-backed goons at Amta in Howrah before daybreak on Saturday.
Salman is the prime witness in the murder case of Anis, who his family alleged was thrown off the roof of his own house by cops from the Amta police station in February this year.
Family members of the victim Salman Khan said he was attacked for spearheading the movement demanding an impartial probe into Anis's death and for being the prime witness in the case.“I went to the toilet outside our home and was waiting for my wife to step out. Suddenly, I felt someone hit me with something sharp on my head," Salman told journalists from his hospital bed.
“If my wife had not been there, they would have killed me,” added Salman who is undergoing treatment at the critical care unit of the Uluberia hospital.
Family members of Salman circulated the images of the profusely bleeding youth and that surfaced on social media drawing strong reaction against the assailants from netizens. Leaders of the CPM’s student and youth wings rushed to Amta and gave the call for a protest outside Amta police station on Sunday. Salman's wife Hosenara Khatun said when she stepped out of the toilet around 1.30am she found her husband lying in a pool of blood.
Hosenara said that in the dark she had noticed someone fleeing and added that the perpetrators could be Trinamul goons.Salman said as he was the prime witness in the Anis death case he had been receiving death threats. He said though he had lodged numerous complaints with the local Amta police station, the law enforcers had done little.
“The new in-charge of the Amta police station kept telling us that investigations are on,” he said.
Salman had approached the police station twice in the past. But instead of providing him protection, two constables would occasionally visit the house after sundown, take pictures of the surroundings and leave. The police camp that had been set up in front of the house after Anis's death has been long removed.Salman’s family members said a complaint naming local Trinamul leaders and panchayat members had been lodged in connection with Saturday’s attack, but Amta police dropped all names and filed the FIR against “unknown persons”.
"This is the handiwork of the ruling party. They wanted us to keep quiet about Anis's murder, but we didn't. That is why they tried to kill Salman since he is the prime witness in this case," said Salem Khan, the father of Anis.
Salem added that he would move a local court seeking justice for Salman and if need be Calcutta High Court would also be approached.Leaders of the CPM's students and youth wings -- SFI and DYFI -- have called for state-wide protests, including a gherao agitation, in front of the Amta police station on Sunday. State DYFI leaders Dhrubojyoti Saha, Kalatan Dasgupta, SFI state president Pratikur Rahaman and students and youth activists from Howrah district visited Salman's family on Saturday. They also visited the Uluberia hospital and held a protest programme in front of the Amta police station.
"When culprits roam freely and people seeking justice are attacked, we cannot keep quiet. We will protest in front of the Amta police station on Sunday and the SFI will also join us," said Minakshi Mukherjee, the DYFI state secretary.A Congress delegation also visited the family.