Two Bengal CPI-M leaders killed, Mamata terms it infighting (Second Lead)

February 23rd, 2012 - 12:18 am ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Feb 22 (IANS) Two Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders, including a former legislator, were killed in a clash in West Bengal Wednesday which the Left Front blamed on the ruling Trinamool Congress. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee linked the deaths to infighting within the CPI-M.

Pradip Tah, who earlier represented Burdwan North in the assembly, and the party’s district committee member Kamal Gayen were lynched in the clash in Dewandighi in Burdwan district.

“Two people were injured,” said Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Gangeshwar Singh. “There is a lot of tension in the area,” he said.

Four people have been arrested, district police superintendent S.H. Mirza told IANS over phone.

CPI-M state secretariat member Shyamal Chakraborty blamed the Trinamool Congress for the killings.

“The Trinamool men attacked a peaceful procession brought out by our partymen in support of the Feb 28 all-India strike called by various trade unions. The Trinamool men used lethal weapons and killed the two leaders,” he said.

The Congress, an ally of the Trinamool, also urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to take stern action.

CPI-M state secretariat member Rabin Deb accused the Trinamoool ‘jungle raj’ in the state in the last eight
months.
Banerjee who is currently in New Delhi on an official visit said, “it is a result of internal clash (within CPI-M),”

State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim claimed that the CPI-M workers had Wednesday morning torn down flags of all other parties in the area.

“Their leaders had instigated them at the rally the CPI-M organised in Kolkata Sunday to capture political turf by violent means. So the miscreants of the party forcibly removed flags of all other parties, but met with resistance from local villagers.

“Any death is unfortunate. But in the name of canvassing for the strike, the CPI-M tried to re-establish a reign of terror in the area which triggered the incident. Though he is now dead, Tah was infamous for brining out armed processions and perpetrating violence,” Hakim said.

Minister and Trinamool leader Moloy Ghatak said his party men had been arrested as CPI-M activists had named Trinamool supporters in the FIR.

“But many of those named in the FIR are not involved.”

But leader of opposition Surya Kanta Mishra said Banerjee and her government should take responsibility for the incident.

“The chief minister and her government have to take responsibility. They have to answer why such heinous acts are being perpetuated on Left workers by Trinamool supporters with the help of the administration. With these two deaths, the total number of Left cadres killed in the nine months of the new government has gone up to 58,” said Mishra.

“Yesterday, the government had issued a circular prohibiting government employees from taking part in industrial strike by taking a day off. The state is in a political chaos because of Trinamool,” he said.

Terming the incident ‘horrific’, alliance partner Congress urged the state government to take stern action against the culprits, irrespective of political identity.

“This horrific incident is a grim reminder of the brutal ways of CPI-M rule. We strongly condemn the political clash and we expect the state government to take strong actions against the culprits irrespective of political identity,” Congress leader Omprakash Mishra said.

The CPI-M took out protest rallies in various parts of the state. The CPI-M Burdwan district leadership has called a 12-hour shutdown in the district to protest against the killings.

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