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Trinamul Congress workers 'punch and kick' poet in Nadia for poem against state government

Though local Trinamul supporters accused Kallol of inciting people to take up arms through his poem, TMC’s Santipur MLA Brajakishore Goswami spoke in favour of freedom of speech

Subhasish Chaudhuri Calcutta Published 28.07.23, 06:43 AM
Poet Kallol Sarkar at his home in Santipur on Thursday.

Poet Kallol Sarkar at his home in Santipur on Thursday. Picture by Abhi Ghosh

A young poet from Nadia’s Santipur was allegedly manhandled by a group of Trinamul activists on Tuesday night for writing a poem criticising the state government for “lawlessness” and posting it on social media.

Kallol Sarkar, 32, a resident of Babla-Dakshinpara in Santipur, who wrote and shared the poem titled "Bidroho (Revolt)" on social media on May 29, earned the wrath of the ruling party activists as it apparently called for a revolt against the state of lawlessness.

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Speaking about the incident, Kallol said that on July 25 some Trinamul supporters blocked his way near Galaidaritola in Santipur and sought his clarifications for penning “Bidroho” that they claimed had adversely influenced some panchayat poll voters of the area.

“They suddenly began punching and kicking me until some local residents rushed to rescue me.... They left the place with a threat of fresh attack if I dare to write anything against the government to influence people”, Kallol said.

Kallol lodged a case at Santipur police station on Wednesday night.

A police officer said that based on Kallol’s complaint, a case has been started by Santipur police. A search for the attackers is on, the officer said.

However, till Thursday none of the accused persons named in the FIR has been arrested.

Though local Trinamul supporters accused Kallol of inciting people to take up arms through his poem, Trinamul’s Santipur MLA Brajakishore Goswami spoke in favour of freedom of speech.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Goswami said: “The party (Trinamul) believes in the freedom of speech and expression and does not support any attack that curtails it. Police should take action according to the law.”

Talking about “Bidroho”, Kallol said it was a poet’s reaction to the “unprecedented lawlessness that the state was going through”.

“While the common people are becoming victims of atrocities and political violence, a sizable section of the cultural elite whose opinion matter in society prefer to remain silent or appease the administration for its own benefits. This is unfortunate,” Kallol said, and added that he hoped that the police would take action against the attackers.

He said that the present government in Bengal came to power with the expectation of “establishing the rule of law" but that is "not happening on the ground".

My poem talks about that,” Kallol said.

Local Trinamul Congress activists that this correspondent spoke to, refused to be identified but claimed that Kallol’s poem was “misleading” and “far from the truth”, which created a wrong impression about the image of the state.

“His narrative has hurt the state’s image and impacted some people in the area that affected the rural poll result even though we won here,” a Trinamul activist said.

In April, Nirupam Bhattacharjya, 42, a theatre activist in Nadia’s Ranaghat was allegedly manhandled by a group of Trinamul activists for staging a play titled “Koshai (Butcher)" that criticised the Bengal and central governments for "anti-people policies".

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