CPI-M protests, moves governor on Bengal leader's murder

Kolkata, Sep 10 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist Tuesday demanded the intervention of West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan to nab the culprits responsible for the murder of its leader Jahangir Alam allegedly by the Trinamool Congress-backed assailants.

But Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dismissed the allegation, pointing fingers at CPI-M's internal feuds.

Apprehending that the ruling party might indulge in "more such killings" to take control of panchayat bodies in the state, a CPI-M delegation requested Narayanan to take up the matter with the administration to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

"It is a conspiracy hatched by the Trinamool in collision with the administration to take control of the panchyat samiti. This is another low in Bengal politics. This is no isolated incident. This may happen elsewhere.

"So we asked the governor's intervention to prevent any recurrence," said CPI-M leader and former state finance minister Asim Dasgupta after submitting the memorandum.

Alam, president of the Hasnabad Panchayat Samiti (the middle tier of the three-rung panchayat system in the state) in North 24 Parganas district was shot dead from point blank range Monday night close to his home in the district.

A popular leader, Alam had become the aabhadhipati (president) of Hasnabad panchayat Samiti by one vote when the elected members elected the office-bearers. With his killing, there is now a tie between the Trinamool and the CPI-M in the panchayat samiti.

Rubbishing the CPI-M allegation, Banerjee said: "Death is death, whether it be of someone in CPI-M or someone from TMC. But why should the TMC be blamed if someone dies in an internal fight? That is not proper."

"Shak diye mach dhaka jai na (You cannot suppress truth with untruth)," Banerjee said, addressing a rally in Barasat of North 24-Parganas district.

"The law will run its course," she said, calling upon the opposition to help in maintaining law and order.

But angry over the murder, CPI-M activists staged a demonstration, refused to hand over the body to police, put up a blockade and dug roads in the area Monday night.

District CPI-M secretary and former minister Gautam Deb had announced that Alam's body would be taken to the state secretariat, Writers' Buildings, but the administration refused.

The CPI-M Tuesday called a 12-hour shutdown at Barasat, headquarters of the district, and held a meeting in the heart of the metropolis condemning the killing.

"He was murdered by the Trinamool to snatch control of the Panchayat Samiiti and with an eye on the coming Lok Sabha elections," said Deb.

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