People's Democracy

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


No. 48

December 01, 2013



Councilors Forced

To Resign at Gun Point


From Our Special

Correspondent in Kolkata


ATTACK, ransack, torture, threats of killing and lastly abduction. This is how Trinamool Congress compelled 6 CPI(M) councilors to resign by force in Halisahar Municipality in North 24 Parganas district. In one of most gruesome attacks on democracy, armed gangs of the ruling party blatantly declared that they would capture the municipality, won by the Left Front in 2010 elections.


The incident in Halisahar has come close on the heels of mass scale defection of Congress councilors in many municipalities of the state to TMC. The ruling party has taken control of many such municipalities without even winning a single seat either in 2008, 2010 or 2012. In Haldia, the TMC captured the board earlier this year by adopting the method of terror.


On 24th November night, three bike-borne groups simultaneously attacked houses of 10 CPI(M) councilors. They burst into the houses, ransacked and beat up relatives and threatened the councilors to resign immediately. They mercilessly beat 75-year old father of councilor Sambhunath Ghosh and also tried to kidnap his 12-year old daughter. The neighbours came out in numbers and chased the miscreants and foiled the attempt of kidnapping.


On the same night consecutives attacks were organised on the house of CPI(M) councilor Lakhmi Raha  In the first attack the feeding bottle of the 6-month old baby in the family was kicked outright and the swing was torn and ransacked. In this attack, only the window glass of her house was broken by the TMC miscreants. After this at midnight the second attack was organised. Beside the window in Lakhi Raha’s room was the bed. As the window had been broken so everyone in the family was tormented. After this at these late hours by inserting a spade from this broken window the TMC miscreants tried to kill the members of the family. After this Lakhi Raha spent the whole night under the bed with her 10-year old son.


On Sunday night the TMC goons made a second attack on the house of CPI(M) councilor Bhagirathi Prasad. After the first attack Bhagirathi Prasad was no longer present in the house. So in the second attack his sister and brother were threatened. The family members also spent their night without sleep.


One after another, houses of 10 councillors were attacked in the same manner. Locals alleged that the whole operation was led by MLA Subhranshu Roy’s armed gang. Roy is the son of TMC’s top leader and ex-railway minister Mukul Roy. Councillors sought police security which was practically denied.


From 25th November early morning the mobile phones of the CPI(M) councilors rang repeatedly with direct threats of being killed. After this the armed battalion of TMC visited the houses of the CPI(M) councilors repeatedly. CPI(M) councilors Kalpana Ghosh, Mrinal Mazumder, Haridas Chakraborty, Ramchandra Prasad, Ranjit Nath and Lakhmi Raha were picked up and taken to a clandestine destination. Though in broad daylight these elected representatives were abducted, but police administration remained unperturbed. After this at about 11 in the morning, first three CPI(M) councilors were taken in a Maruti van to the SDO office. At 12 O’clock two more councilors and at 2.30 in the afternoon, one more councilor was brought in the same fashion and all were compelled to tender their resignations. As usual the SDO office was surrounded by armed TMC goons. By force they were made to write that for health reasons they were resigning. Even in the face of such atrocities, these six councilors, standing in front of the sub-divisional officer, said that they were not resigning on health grounds but have been compelled to do this because of threats of being killed.


On the other hand local people guarded the house of councilor Sambhu Nath Ghosh the whole of Monday. The people of Halisahar were shocked to witness such an open show of criminal brutality. People have claimed that never before such a condemnable situation had occurred in Halisahar. CPI(M) leader Gautam Deb has brought to the notice of the home secretary of the state about this brutal incident.


Questions have been raised about the role played by the police administration. In order to highlight the precarious condition prevailing in Halisahar, Gautam Deb spoke to the home secretary Basudev Bandopadhyay. He even spoke to district magistrate Sanjay Bansal. How an armed battalion of the ruling party can compel the elected representatives to resign by threatening to be killed, was his clear question.


A delegation of Left Front MLAs visited Halishar on 27th November and talked to the people.