Vol. XLIII No. 11 March 17, 2019

WEST BENGAL: CPI(M) Supporter Killed in Coochbehar

From our Special Correspondent

MURDEROUS attacks on the opposition continue in West Bengal after blood-soaked panchayat elections in the state. Recent targets are those who won the elections braving terror and heinous attacks. In a gruesome incident, CPI(M) supporter Rajan Ali Mian was brutally murdered in Coochbehar district.

The CPI(M) candidate Atabul Islam won in one seat in Harirbari village under Jamaldaha village panchayat in Mekhliganj in Coochbehar district. Atabul, a former SFI leader, is popular in his village. He was the only opposition candidate who won in that village panchayat. The villagers stood firm and with their support Atabul won the seat despite all attempts of terrorisation by the TMC. The ruling party was desperate to make the panchayat ‘free from opposition’, a slogan that was given and implemented through terror in the state. The TMC leaders approached Atabul and offered him to join TMC which he resolutely refused. Then he was threatened with dire consequences.

On June 3, villagers met in a house to discuss the situation. Suddenly, a TMC armed gang barged into the house with sharp weapons. They attacked Atabul with the motive of killing him. The villagers cordoned Atabul and resisted the attack. The TMC miscreants mercilessly attacked them and many were injured. Ramjan Ali Mian was severely injured and was declared dead after he was taken to Jalpaiguri hospital. Atabul Islam was saved but his father Sarifuddin Islam, Jafar (son of martyr Ramjan Ali) was seriously injured. The injured were taken to Jalpaiguri hospital, from where they were discharged even without treatment.

Ramjan Ali, a dedicated CPI(M) supporter was one of the enthusiastic organisers of this year’s election campaign. He was the prime mover of Atabul’s name as a candidate and made house-to-house visits to garner support for him. The TMC feared that an able activist like Atabul would be a ‘threat’ to them even if he was a sole member in the opposition. The village panchayats have become a tool of loot in the TMC-raj.

The role of police is despicable in this incident. The villagers have informed police about the threats meted out to Atabul but there was no action on their part. The police failed to reach the village immediately after the attack. But later a large contingent of police force was stationed in the village; though the real culprits were not arrested. On the contrary, some of the miscreants and the TMC leaders were freely moving in bikes, terrorising the village people. The police arrested innocent villagers who had no relation with this incident.

The CPI(M) leaders went to the village and met with Ramjan Ali’s family. The villagers moaned his death and everyone in the village reported that Ramjan Ali was an ardent follower of the red flag and never succumbed to pressures from the TMC.  On June 6, a 12-hour bandh was observed in Jamaldaha.