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Bengal: Tribal School Teacher ‘Beaten to Death’ in West Midnapore District

The deceased, a popular teacher in the area, has been identified as a Left supporter, and was protesting against rash biking in the village.

Representational use only.image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Kolkata: A tribal school teacher was allegedly beaten to death in Srirampore village of West Midnapore district on Monday, March 14.

The assailants, all locals allegedly associated with the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), beat the elderly gentleman for protesting against rash biking in his village.

The incident happened in front of the 60-year-old victim's house. Lakshmiram Tudu, the deceased teacher, saw some miscreants rashly driving and arguing with a passerby. He protested against their behaviour, following which the miscreants allegedly beat him up severly. He was taken to the local hospital in a critical condition and was referred to the Midnapore Medical College. He died on Tuesday late at night.

The deceased, a popular teacher in the area, has been identified as a Left supporter and was the former branch secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). 

After the incident, villagers gathered and caught hold of the two alleged attackers while two others managed to flee. The angry crowd later torched the house of the miscreants, according to reports.

Local residents accused the police of not arresting the alleged main accused, Ravi Bhuiya, until the villagers protested. As the situation was about to get out of hand, the police arrested all five accused on Tuesday night.

CPI(M) state secretary Mohd Salim told NewsClick that the police were pressured into taking action by public protests. “If there had been no protests, the police would have remained a spectator,” he said.

"People are angry everywhere, and police are compelled to take steps whenever there is public anger against TMC miscreants who are wreaking havoc in West Bengal society," Salim added.

Tudu was scheduled to retire from Jalalchawk Primary School next month. He was the acting headmaster of the school. His son Rajeev Tudu is employed with the Indian Army and was supposed to be home on the day of the incident. However, he went to attend a relative's wedding that day. Upon hearing the news, he rushed to the local hospital and took his injured father to the district hospital.

Rajeev told reporters that his wife tried to rescue his father, but the miscreants also beat her up. As the locals started resisting the miscreants, the main accused and two others escaped on the bikes. The remaining two accused, Arghya Bhuiya and Suman Bhuiya, were caught by the locals and handed over to the police.

As per the locals, the miscreants used to defraud the residents. Despite multiple complaints against them, the police never acted as the TMC leaders in the village allegedly shielded them. 

Police and RAF had to be mobilised as the situation was about to get out of control. Nearly 2,000 people blocked the national highway. The protesters were only pacified after police arrested the accused.

Dhritiman Sarkar, police superintendent of West Midnapore district, told NewsClick that action had been taken in the case, and murder charges had been framed against the five accused. Sarkar admitted that the area was tense after the murder, but the situation was brought under control following the arrests.

NewsClick also spoke with Pulin Bihari Baske, general secretary, Adivasi Adhikar Raksha Manch, who said a high-level delegation of the organisation would visit the area on Friday and meet the police and administration. They will demand that the accused be charged under the Act on prevention of atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Tribes.

"As the teacher was in the service, our demand to the government will be to give employment to one child of the family on compassionate grounds," Baske added.

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