West Bengal parties cry foul over police action at Salboni

November 8th, 2008 - 6:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 8 (IANS) Two leading opposition political parties in West Bengal - the Trinamool Congress and the Congress - Saturday accused the police of indiscriminately arresting innocent villagers in West Midnapore’s Salboni area following the Nov 2 landmine blast.The Trinammol Congress demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) enquiry into the matter.

“Our party supremo Mamata Banerjee had demanded a CBI enquiry into the incident. We’ll soon write to the centre asking for a high-level CBI probe into the blast,” senior Trinamool Congress leader and former union minister Saugata Roy told IANS here.

He said: “In the letter Trinamool Congress would complain about the unnecessary harassment of its party workers at Salboni. They were arrested by the police without any proper reason.”

“The police have arrested five of our party members and also searched the house of (West Midnapore district Trinamool Congress secretary) Mrigen Maity. They are also creating problems for local residents in that region and interrogating them as if they were involved in the blast,” added Roy.

“How come the Maoists placed a long wire, spreading over more than two and a half kilometres, despite the thick police cover in that region. It’s also quite strange the blast occurred after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s car passed the spot,” he said.

A high-intensity landmine went off when the convoy of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan was returning from Salboni after laying the foundation stone of Jindal’s 10-MT mega steel plant.

Senior state Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee also put the blame on the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led state government.

He alleged that the CPI-M was torturing innocent people, especially those who belong to other political parties, in the name of Maoist connection.

“A team, led by state legislative assembly member Manas Bhuniya, will head for Salboni on Nov 11 to meet the locals who are now being tortured by the police,” Mukherjee told IANS.

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