People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Vol. XXX

No. 50

December 10, 2006

Trinamul Goons Stone To Death A Govt Employee As Bandh Flops




PRANOY Das was an employee of the Block Development Office at Karandighi in north Dinajpore. Clutching a satchel that carried some papers and his tiffin-box, he boarded a bus en route to his office on December 1. A worker of the state coordination committee, Das like thousands of others in the block would not care for the 12-hour bandh called by the Trinamul Congress to cover up for their misdeeds in the state assembly. Pranoy Das was pensive as he boarded the bus for he had recently seen three of his children die in succession of a disease.


Das’s reverie was broken with a rude fatal shock as a bunch of Trinamul Congress goons started to pelt the bus with large stones. One stone fragment flew right through the window near which Das sat, crashed into his head, and shattered the skull. Das (47) died on the spot in a pool of spreading blood as the co-passengers cried desperately for help. The goons melted away, satisfied at the deed they had done. Das died a martyr to the cause of democracy and democratic right that he was ready and determined to fulfil by attending office.


As the state secretary of the CPI(M) Biman Basu had said earlier, the bandh itself was an act of politically bankrupt outfit populated by goons and thugs. The acts of barbarism in the Bengal assembly as well as the acts of terrorism on the bandh day were proof of the vicious mindset that controlled the Trinamul chief and her lackeys-at-arms. The same bent of mind that saw Trinamul legislators crash a splintered wooden panel onto the head of LF MLA Dr K D Ghosh in the assembly chamber also drove them to bomb and burn buses, attack pedestrians with stones and brickbats, and wreck Railway lines by short-circuiting overhead cables with metal rods.




However, life remained quite normal on December 1. Senior CPI(M) leaders Jyoti Basu and Biman Basu along with senior Left Front leaders briefed the media at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan. Jyoti Basu, who narrated the violent history of the Congress and its offshoot the Trinamul Congress, called the misdeeds in the assembly criminal acts that deserved to be punished. Biman Basu described the flopping of bandh as a rejection by the people of the politics or lack of it of a desperately isolated outfit called the Trinamul Congress. The Left Front has called for punishing those found wrecking the assembly chamber and the lobby on November 30.


The first couple of hours of the day found people a little tentative, having had etched in memory the grisly misdeeds of the Congress and Trinamul Congress goondas during previous bandhs the two outfits had called. However, as the fog lifted, so did the spirits of the people. Traffic started to flow in a normal fashion. As one drove down the north-south A J C Bose and A P C Roads, one was witness to something that surely gave the lie to the Trinamul Congress and Congress chiefs’ claim that the bandh was ‘supported by the people’ and that there were a series of traffic jams. Trams trundled across College Street as the Kolkata University filled up with students.


The industrial belt hummed with activity, the average off-take of power being as per norm for a working day. Tea gardens bustled with seasonal activities. Harvesting dominated the fields and meadows of rural Bengal where people had little time for the bandh. Ports-and-docks, and the airport remained quite normal with freight being loaded and unloaded, and flights taking of and touching down regularly. 




Encouraging is the word for the manner in which the bulk of the shops, establishments, schools, colleges, and universities remained open. Certain sections of school authorities chose to pull the shutter down causing a great dissatisfaction among parents who had come with their children to the schools expecting a normal working day. Offices were well attended, as the figures below will show.


Office                            Attendance (%)


Writers’ Buildings           70

Assembly House             85

Swasthya Bhavan            74

New Secretariat               76

Oil Industry                     95

Merchant, LIC etc           80

Other offices                   70



The day also saw attacks by Trinamul Congress goons on transport, they being especially frustrated at the rate in which public and private buses plied. The goodwill bus between Kolkata and Bangladesh was recklessly attacked with stones, leaving three seriously injured, including two Bangladesh citizens who decried the bandh directly.




Bombs were thrown indiscriminately at several crossings in south Kolkata, Howrah, Murshidabad, Maldah, and north 24 Parganas. In all six buses were partially torched, and had their windows broken with pelted stones and brickbats. Two dozen-odd people were seriously injured. The police arrested 2400 Trinamul Congress activists from all over the state on bandh day. Biman Basu said that had the bandh been supported by the people, the Trinamul Congress goons would not have had to go in for violence nor would the police have to make so many arrests. 


That the bandh was not having any impact at all of the kind its organisers had hoped it would, was clear when the Trinamul chief in a hurriedly called media conference later in the day, announced that the bandh was being withdrawn a full one-and-a-half hours before its scheduled close. She also said in a surprise move and with a straight face that from now on she will ‘cooperate with the state government.’ Is this a crass ploy employed in the hope that the administration will go soft on her rampaging MLAs? (B P)