At least five civic volunteers of the police force have been included in block committees of Trinamul youth wing in Malda district, with the BJP alleging that Bengal’s ruling party plans to use the volunteers “politically” in the rural polls.
Recently, when Trinamul announced block and panchayat committees of their youth wing in Malda along with some other districts, it was found that civic volunteers were put in these committees.
Chatan Rajak and Aloke Mandal, civic volunteers under Malda district police, are the general secretary and secretary, respectively, of Trinamul youth wing in Manikchak block.
Nipen Mahaladar and Biru Mandal, two other civic volunteers, are in the same block committee as executive members.
“Another civic volunteer is an executive member in the youth Trinamul committee of Gazole block. We suspect there may be more. The inclusion of civic volunteers confirms our fears that Trinamul will (mis) use them and some state police personnel in the panchayat polls,” claimed Gour Chandra Mandal, the BJP’s district general secretary of Malda south (organisational) district.
“We want senior police officers to probe and take steps against these civic volunteers. They can’t continue serving the police force. If police stay silent, we will launch a movement,” Mandal added.
All five civic volunteers declined to comment.
District Trinamul leaders, on the other hand, tried to pass the buck. Abdur Rahim Boxi, an MLA and Malda district Trinamul president, said local MLAs finalised the list of block committees.
“We simply forwarded the lists to the state leadership,” said Boxi.
Sabitri Mitra, the Trinamul MLA of Manikchak, claimed the lists reached her from the panchayat level.
“If any civic volunteer has been included in a block committee by mistake, we will drop him. The BJP is unnecessarily making it an issue,” she said.
However, many senior leaders said those who forwarded the lists should have checked the antecedents.
Senior police officers said civic volunteers can’t do their jobs while being members or office bearers of a political party. “They can be general supporters, but never members or office bearers. I believe they should either quit the party or resign from their jobs,” said a police officer.
Trinamul’s Debabrata Ghosh, the immediate past president of Manikchak block, raised another query. “In the new 54-member block committee in Manikchak, 33 are contractors. We wonder if Trinamul will do well in polls led by contractors,” he said.