People's Democracy

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


No. 23

June 05, 2011


Veteran CPI(M) Leader

Commits Suicide in Kolkata



VETERAN CPI(M) leader, West Bengal state committee member and MLA, Comrade  Mustafa bin Kashem committed suicide in Kolkata by jumping from the third floor of MLA quarters on the evening of May 29 at around 5 pm.


71 year old Comrade Kashem had been ill for quite some time in the past, with both kidneys severely affected and resulting in a painful situation for him. This was the reason for this 6 time MLA from North 24 Paraganas district resorting to this extreme step.


The CPI(M) West Bengal state committee in a statement termed Comrade Kashem's death as an “intolerable pain for the Party” and sent condolences to his wife and his son and daughter. It stated that this must have happened due to the physical pain suffered by the comrade. Party flags in all offices have been lowered as a mark of respect to the departed leader. Comrade Kashem was presently the chairman of CPI(M) State Control Commission.


CPI(M) Central Committee members Madan Ghosh and Mridul De rushed to the MLA quarters after hearing the news along with Rabin Deb and CPI(M) leaders from North 24 Paraganas district. Former speaker of the assembly Hashim Abdul Haleem also rushed to the spot. Chief minister Mamata Banarjee too visited the site and took stock of the situation. It is learnt the CPI(M) leader left behind a suicide note and that has been handed over to the police.


The body of the departed leader was brought to CPI(M) state committee office on May 30. Party leaders including Biman Basu, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee paid homage to him. The body was then taken to CPI(M) North 24 Parganas district committee office and then to Comrade Kashem’s residential area. There hundreds of people gathered to pay their last respects to him and bid him farewell in tears.


Comrade Kashem, who was very popular as a college teacher, was widely respected in every quarter as a soft spoken leader. He represented Baduria, Swarupnagar and Basirhat (north) constituencies for six times. He won this time too.  He was elected to Rajya Sabha once in 1983.


CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat has also condoled the death in a message to West Bengal Party. He stated that Comrade Kashem was a dedicated Marxist who was very modest and spartan in his lifestyle. He said that he knew him personally and he was a very good leader.