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'CPM cadres' attack Cong families

'CPM cadres' attack Cong families

Author: Statesman News Service
Publication: The Statesman
Date: July 14, 2008

In an act of political vengeance, nine Congress families were allegedly attacked by Marxist cadres in a village barely one kilometre from Bishnupur town just after midnight.

The masked cadres went berserk, looting and then destroying households, not even sparing housewives as the families had supported the Congress during the last panchayat elections. The assault came 72 hours after the CPI-M withdrew support of the UPA government at the Centre. The Congress has alleged that the police gave the cadres space to attack as a result of a conspiracy hatched in consultation with the CPI-M leadership in Bishnupur.

Mr Shyam Mukherjee, chairman, Bishnupur Municipality and district Congress leader alleged: "An elected Zilla Parishad member and a panchayat member of the party was leading the midnight operation and the police, despite several calls, didn't come to the rescue of the families."

The police said that due to the Ulto Rath that continued till late yesterday, the police officers were exhausted and couldn't reach the place on time. A police team however started patrolling in the area this afternoon.

Despite the specific FIR against the ZP and the GP members, no one were arrested and the accused were seen roaming freely in the village. The ASP, Bankura, Mr RN Mukherjee said: "We have received a complaint and six people have been named in the FIR. None of them could be found when our police team visited the village."

The masked Marxist cadres allegedly led by Zilla Parishad member ~ Mr Susanta Lohar and panchayat member Mr Poritosh Lohar attacked the houses at Dakshin Mogra village in Bishnupur PS area. According to Mr Swapan Lohar, a victim: "The gang armed with lathi, rod and bhojali knocked on the door of the consecutive families and those who didn't respond, the attackers broke open the door and entered forcibly." He added: "They beat up the family members and the housewives were molested."

The gang looted cash worth Rs 50 thousand and jewelry worth more than two lakh from the poor farmer families and ransacked the houses. The mayhem continued for two hours. The household utensils were thrown away and the deep tube-wells were uprooted to cause severe inconvenience to the residents.

The small tribal village, which falls under Morar panchayat in Bishnupur, has only 18 families who have been loyal to the CPI-M for years. But this time they migrated to the Congress and this, according to Mr Ashis Lohar, a resident, was the reason for the attack. "We had refused the CPI-M leaders this year and they had threatened us that we would be taught a lesson," he said.

Though the CPI-M had won the Morar panchayat, it lost absolute support from Dakshin Mogra this year, embarrassing the zonal leadership. The CPI-M has refuted charges of creating terror in the area. The party's Bishnupur zonal secretary, Mr Paresh Manik said: "The attack was a conspiracy against our party and the Congress leadership had hatched it to malign us. It's part of dirty politics. We have asked the police to investigate the case properly."

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