CPI-M leaders detained for attacking Trinamool procession

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 10, 2013 17:48 hrs

Siliguri: Twenty-five CPI-M members, including senior leaders Ashok Bhattacharya and Jibesh Sarkar were detained from the party office here on Wednesday in connection with an attack on a procession by Trinamool Congress workers.

Siliguri police commissioner Anand Kumar said glass bottles filled with liquid were thrown from the party office Anil Biswas Bhavan when a procession by about 4,000 TMC workers moved past it during the day.

Bhattacharya, CPI-M state committeee member and urban development minister of the erstwhile Left Front government and Sarkar, CPI-M Darjeeling district committee secretary, were present at the party office during the incident and were arrested, he said.

TMC had taken out the procession to protest the attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra by SFI in Delhi yesterday.

Following the attack from the CPI-M office a clash ensued between the two sides in which a number of supporters of both parties, three local journalists and a policeman were injured, Kumar said.

The situation was controlled by the police, who had to resort to lathicharge, he added.

Later, Bhattacharya told PTI that he was told by the police that he had been arrested along with the 29 others for throwing stones at the TMC procession.

In Kolkata, CPI(M) sources said besides Bhattacharya and Sarkar, some student leaders were arrested from the Siliguri party office.

The party alleged that there was no let-up in the 'continuing attacks' on its offices in different parts of the state since yesterday.

Cars of CPI-M leaders Abdur Rezzak Mollah and Sudarshan Roychowdhury were damaged in attacks by TMC, they claimed.

1,000 Left Front offices vandalised in Bengal: Biman Bose

Condemning the heckling of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Finance Minister Amit Mitra by the SFI in Delhi, West Bengal's Left Front Wednesday said that around 1,000 offices of left parties have been vandalised in retaliatory strikes in the state.

"Everybody has the right to protest in a democracy but it is not right to heckle any person or someone who belongs to the council of ministers," Left Front chairman Biman Bose said here.

"The Left Front will be alert regarding such incidents in future and these kind of situations won't be allowed to develop," Bose added.

Bose also demanded that effective steps be taken to stop the violence against left parties and organisations in the state.

"We condemn the rampant violence that is being perpetrated against the Left Front," Bose said.

"Around 105 offices of the Left Front were vandalised in the district of Cooch Behar alone and when all districts are taken together the number rises to 1,000. Many district leaders were also attacked," he said.

The activists of Students Federation of India (SFI), the students wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), heckled Banerjee and West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra outside the Planning Commission office in the national capital Tuesday, over SFI leader Sudipto Gupta's death in police custody in Kolkata.

TMCP activists vandalise Presidency University

Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) members stormed the Presidency University campus and beat up its students here on Wednesday, an official said.

The incident occurred a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee faced a protest in New Delhi organised by the Students Federation of India (SFI), the students wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

"They were carrying TMCP flags and shouting slogans. They broke the gates and entered the campus. They beat up our students," Presidency University vice chancellor Malabika Sarkar told a media conference here.

TMCP activists had organised a rally from College Street junction near the university to protest Monday's incident in New Delhi. When it reached the university gates, some of the participants allegedly turned violent and forcibly entered the campus.

Sarkar said that police "did not take any action. It is absolutely unacceptable. They vandalised the physics department. This is an unprovoked attack on peaceful students in a university campus".

She said the mob returned to vandalise the physics department.

The heritage Baker's Building, which celebrated its centenary recently, also faced the wrath of the vandals.

"We had apprehended disturbance. But police said there was no cause of worry. Despite that, we were attacked twice," Debashruti Roychowdhury, dean of students, told the media.

An SFI supporter who was beaten up said: "They were shouting slogans eulogising Mamata Banerjee. They were carrying sticks, rods and spears. They pinned me down and shouted, 'How dare you beat up Amit Mitra?'"

After the mob left, students supporting SFI and Independent Consolidation (IC) held a meeting and called a strike Thursday to protest the violence by the TMCP.

"Teachers also were not spared. We have requested them to lend their support," said an IC leader.

Banerjee, Finance Minister Amit Mitra and others were heckled by members of the SFI outside the Planning Commission office building in New Delhi's Parliament Street Tuesday.

The SFI was protesting the death of its activist Sudipta Gupta in Kolkata Police's custody on April 2.

Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee said about the attack on the university: "We condemn it. The miscreants must be identified and punished. The administration will not go by any political colour. If Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad supporters are involved, they are enemies of the Trinamool Congress."

Left Front chairman and CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose said people even remotely interested in education could not have vandalised such an institution.

"Why didn't police prevent hooligans from breaking the century-old laboratory, which is one of the famous physics lab of Bengal? We cannot accept this," Bose said.

The university's alumni include Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Satyajit Ray, Marxist leader Jyoti Basu and India's first president Rajendra Prasad.

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