Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Four activists of Forward Bloc killed


RULE THROUGH THE BARREL OF GUN......................


KOLKATA: Four activists of Forward Bloc, the second biggest constituent of West Bengal’s ruling Left Front, were killed on Tuesday and several injured when police fired on party supporters during a law violation programme at Dinhata in Coochbehar district। AIFB claimed five activists were killed।

Following the incident, the party has called for a, rare, 24-hour bandh on Wednesday against its own state government. It is for the first time in the Front’s 31-year rule in West Bengal that supporters of a ruling party were killed in police firing while organising protest demonstrations in several state sub-divisions. Bloc activists were demanding jobs for rural unemployed youth for at least 100 days and the release of an error-free BPL list.

Twelve policemen were injured in fracas with FB activists in front of the sub-divisional officer’s office at Dinhata, a traditional stronghold of the party. The bandh call has been supported by main opposition Trinamool Congress, Congress and Left opposition Socialist Unity of Centre of India (SUCI).

The police said the firing was resorted to after teargassing and lathicharge failed to FB workers who indulged in violence, arson and ransacked SDO’s office.

District Police Superintendent Anil Kumar said that 12 policemen were injured as the mob resorted to brickbat and also set on fire a police vehicle and vandalised government property.

FB MLA Akshoy Thakur claimed more than 50 people received bullet injuries in the incident and 12 of them were admitted to MJN Hospital at Coochbehar and 10 at Dinhata sub-divisional hospital.

In the post-Nandigram scenario, it remains to be seen how severely the latest developments in Cooch Behar could hurt the CPM’s overtures to buy peace with constituents like the Bloc, ahead of the state panchayat elections.

Mamata Banerjee has been appealing to the minor Left Front partners, particularly the Bloc, to quit the Left Front coalition for the past few months and her party’s support to the bandh is an obvious bid to widen the rift between the Bloc and CPM. The Congress too has given moral support to the bandh called for the first time by a ruling party of the Left Front.

“We consider Tuesday’s police firing and killing of our supporters a shame on the Left Front and a slur on the image of its government,” Bloc state secretary Ashok Ghosh told newspersons on Tuesday evening while giving the 24-hour bandh call.

But interestingly, Mr Ghosh, stopped short of demanding an inquiry from the state government. Nor did he demand state chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s resignation, given that the CM also happens to be in charge of the state home (police) department.

Asked whether the Bloc leadership would pull out ministers from the Buddhadeb government and quit the Front after four of their supporters were killed in the police firing, Mr Ghosh said: “We are not quitting the West Bengal government nor the Front. We still consider it is a political necessity to continue with the Front as well as in the government.”

After the incident took place at Dinhata, CPM state secretary and LF chairman Biman Bose had called Mr Ghosh and held a telephonic conversation. “Mr Bose had called me to say that our party activists were responsible for the incident.

He also told me that some anti-social had instigated violence. I told Mr Bose that all these charges were fabricated and also requested him not to tell lies. I have informed Mr Bose we have called a bandh in the state on Wednesday,” Mr Ghosh told newspersons.

Meanwhile, the CPM has urged the people to maintain normalcy in the state on Wednesday. In a statement issued by the state secretariat, the CPM however, did not mention a single word about the Bloc-sponsored bandh on Wednesday

No comments: