Nandigram polls: CPI-M MP ‘threatens’ senior police officer (Lead)

May 11th, 2008 - 4:09 pm ICT by admin  


Kolkata, May 11 (IANS) The panchayat poll in Nandigram was marred Sunday when a ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MP was involved in a heated argument with a senior Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) official over the election process in the West Bengal region. Left MP Laxman Seth allegedly accused CRPF deputy inspector general (DIG) Aloke Raj of acting out of his own jurisdiction.

“I have received a number of complaints from many people against the CRPF DIG as he beat up our supporters Saturday night,” Seth, Lok Sabha member from East Midnapore’s Haldia seat, told IANS. “I called him up repeatedly but he didn’t take my call and later switched off his mobile. Sunday morning when I called him up, he first received the call and immediately passed it on to another police official.”

“Later I spoke to Aloke Raj over telephone. I told him that the CRPF is not supposed to monitor the panchayat poll in Nandigram. They are here to take care of the law and order situation. He has no right to move freely across Nandigram without local police and magistrate,” he said.

He said that earlier the CPI-M had lodged a complaint to the CRPF director general against Aloke Raj when he came to Nandigram for the first time in November last year.

Seth, an East Midnapore strongman, said: “I have full right to complain against him and ask him not go out of his own limit. After all I represent common citizens in the Indian parliament and I think it’s my duty to fight for their rights.”

Raj reacted, saying: “I have the right to visit all violence-hit areas with the local police and magistrate. I am not working under the district administration and I know my limits very well. I will keep on doing my job in Nandigram despite all the hurdles.”

Seth also alleged he had heard about molestation charges against the CRPF DIG from some of his party men.

“I heard he also assaulted some women at Kalicharanpur area in Nandigram when he went to the place late Saturday evening,” he said.

However, East Midnapore police superintendent S.S. Panda said he has no such information about any molestation charge against Raj at Nandigram police station.

“I am very shocked after getting the news. It’s a fake FIR and I will demand an independent enquiry into the case,” Raj said.

He said the FIR had been lodged to restrain him from doing his duty.

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