Calcutta, Jan. 17: The CPM leadership today reacted cautiously to the arrest of Trinamul strongman Arabul Islam, saying it would have to be seen whether the government was sincere in punishing him at a time his party had stood by him.
Abdur Rezzak Mollah, the CPM MLA who was allegedly assaulted by Arabul in Bhangar on January 6, told ABP Ananda that the arrest was a "got-up case". "It's a planned move. It's a got-up case. This much I can say now. I will react again after finding out what happens in the next phase of the plan," he said.
CPM general secretary Prakash Karat, who visited Mollah at RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences this afternoon, said later: "This person (Arabul) should have been arrested much earlier. However, it's just the beginning. Now we want to see what action is taken by the government and whether he is punished."
A day after Arabul allegedly led the attack on Mollah, Trinamul ministers Madan Mitra, Firhad Hakim and Mukul Roy had visited Bhangar and held rallies and a march in support of the accused.
Asked about Arabul's arrest, CPM state secretariat member and the party's South 24-Parganas secretary Sujan Chakraborty said: "If a person facing criminal charges is arrested, it's good. But one doubts what will happen next as we know that Trinamul ministers and leaders are supporting Arabul."
According to a CPM leader, the party's guarded reaction to the arrest is also because the move has taken some steam out of the Left's campaign against the Trinamul government.
"Now that Arabul has been arrested, we have lost an issue to attack the Trinamul government. By booking him, the state administration wants to send the message to the people that it is neutral. The arrest has taken a bit of steam out of our political attack on Trinamul," a CPM state committee member said today.
The CPM and its allies had taken out a rally in Calcutta last week to protest the attack on Mollah.
During that rally, the Left had also decried the torching of vehicles allegedly at the instance of Arabul that followed the assault on the veteran CPM leader.
Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had participated in the protest march.
While addressing a CPM meeting at Rajarhat on Monday, Bhattacharjee was severely critical of the Trinamul government for not arresting Arabul.
CPM general secretary Prakash Karat today lauded the Bengal unit's organisational strength in fighting back Trinamul in the face of "terror'' unleashed by the ruling party.
He also asked the state leadership at the central committee meeting at Alimuddin Street to keep up the momentum for "better results'' in the upcoming panchayat elections, sources said.