Saturday, January 8, 2011

Burdwan killings trigger gory body politics in city

Eyes gouged out, throat slit, the nose cut open, and injuries all over the body. Political vengeance couldn't get any worse. Villagers of Brahmapur in Burdwan's Mangalkote reeled in horror on Thursday as Trinamool Congress supporter Dilip Ghosh's body was pulled out of a pond. He was allegedly murdered by CPM goons on Wednesday evening.

On Friday, the Trinamool Congress will hit the streets in Kolkata with his mutilated body and the corpses of party activists and brothers Tapas and Amrito Saha, who were killed in Burdwan's Ketugram on Wednesday. Mamata Banerjee might take part in the rally. The SFI already has a mass gathering scheduled on the same day and Kolkata Police are on the tenterhooks because the Trinamool has not yet sought permission or informed them about their plans.

"There has been a spurt in killings in Ketugram, Mangalkote and Raina soon after chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's visit to Burdwan. The administration is not being run from Writers' Buildings. It's the political mandarins at the CPM headquarters that are calling the shots," said Trinamool chief whip in Parliament Sudip Bandyopadhyay.

This is the third time in less than three weeks that Kolkata will see street  politics over the dead. The run-up to the assembly polls has perhaps never been so gory in Bengal.

Violence broke out in Uttar Brahmapur when CPM supporters, who had fled the village, were returning home early on Wednesday, escorted by bands of armed and hooded goons, sources said. When Trinamool supporters accosted them, they opened fire.

Villages in this part of Burdwan have been caught in a civil-war-like situation for the last two years, ever since CPM leader Falguni Mukherjee was murdered in June 2009. At that time, CPM supporters had set Ghosh's house on fire. The entire Ghosh family had fled and returned home only recently.

Bhunia wants Mamata-Pranab rally in Burdwan

Slain Trinamool supporter Dilip Ghosh's widow Suchitra said CPM marauders attacked him when he was working in his field. "My husband ran for his life and managed to reach home. But the CPM goons didn't spare him. About 200 of them stormed into our home in the evening, slit his throat and dragged him away," Suchitra told senior Trinamool leaders Mukul Roy, Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra and the party MLA from Nandanghat who visited her home. The Trinamool delegation also met the bereaved family of Ashim Dhibar who succumbed to bullet injuries at Katwa hospital on Wednesday.

Dilip Ghosh's barbaric murder is only a continuation of the politics of bombs and bullets. CPM supporters face the same ordeal in Brahmapur village. They have had to leave their home and hearth after Trinamool activist Purnima Majhi was killed on December 1, 2010.

The Opposition is out to corner the Left on the killings, especially in the light of Union home minister P Chidambaram's letter to the chief minister to "disarm and disband the harmad vahinis in parts of Bengal".

Pradesh Congress president Manas Bhuniya led a gherao of the Burdwan district magistrate's office Thursday against the spate of political murders by the CPM. "The two brothers killed at Ketugram belonged to a traditional Congress family. I propose a joint meeting in this disturbed area from where Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee would reassure the villages reeling under CPM terror. I also feel that the Trinamool allegation against the misuse of central paramilitary units at Lalgarh needs to be looked into," Bhuniya said.

CPM denied the charge. "None of our supporters was involved in the murder of the brothers. They were victims of a family feud," said CPM zonal secretary Durjodhan Sar.

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