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CPI(M), CITU Leaders Arrested in Jalpaiguri for Resisting TMC ‘Attack’

TMC student wing allegedly attacked the CPI(M) district office after Mamata Banerjee accused the Left of complicity in the Jadavpur University student’s death.
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Representational Image. Image Courtesy:  Wikimedia Commons

Kolkata: All India Plantation Workers Federation (AIPWF) general secretary and CITU National Working Committee member Ziaul Alam was arrested in front of CPI(M) Jalpaiguri district party office on Wednesday for thwarting an ‘attack’ by the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) following the alleged suicide by a minor student of Jadavpur University on August 10.

The attack followed after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee blamed the CPI(M) and SFI for the student’s death. The family of the first-year student of Bengali Honours from Nadia district, who died after ‘falling’ from the second floor of his hostel, alleged that he was being ragged. Nine people, including students and alumni, have been arrested so far.

Citing Banerjee’s comment, TMCP members allegedly attacked the CPI(M) office in Jalpaiguri with glass bottles, rods and stones and injured seven SFI and CITU members when they tried to stop them. The injured were hospitalised.

Around 10 pm, the police landed at the CPI(M) office, arrested party state secretariat member Alam, area committee secretary Tamal Chakraborty, district secretariat member Pijush Mishra and ABTA district secretary Prasenjit Roy and charged them with non-bailable offences.

Party district secretary Salil Acharya rushed to the party office from Dhupguri and told the police that the party would protest unless the leaders were freed.

The leaders were taken to a local court on Friday and remanded in police custody till August 21.   

In a press release issued on Thursday demanding Alam’s unconditional release, the CITU condemned the “brutal police action” on Alam, “arrested in a heinous way”.

In a nefariously conspired move, the Trinamool Congress goons attacked our Trade Union and other fraternal Mass Organisation offices at Jalpaiguri on August 16 evening. They planned to vandalise and loot our offices, which was valiantly resisted by our trade union comrades along with students and youths. Many of our comrades were brutally attacked and injured and many are hospitalised,” the CITU said.

Instead of arresting the culprits”, the CITU alleged, “the TMC-led police force came heavily upon our comrades, manhandled and arrested five of our activists along with comrade Ziaul Alam”.

Condemning the “notorious police action” of the West Bengal administration, which has “mutilated all democratic scope and constitutional rights of the people of Bengal”, the CITU demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the leaders and the arrest of “TMC hooligans behind this barbarous act”.

CITU calls upon all its constituents and fraternal federations to rise in rage and register their protest at every level against the barbarous attack on trade union leaders and democratic forces of West Bengal.”

The CITU West Bengal Committee also issued a press release severely condemning the arrest of its leaders and alleging the police’s “nefarious role” . Instead of arresting the culprits, the police arrested CITU and other mass organisation leaders fighting to save the office, it said.

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