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April 6, 2011

Mamata Banerjee hits out at coal mafia

Mamata Banerjee hits out at coal mafia

Jamuria (Asansol), April 5: Mamata Banerjee trained guns on the coal mafia, and “CPM leaders and police officers who backed them” here on Tuesday after a Trinamool Congress leader was shot and crushed under a vehicle by goons.

She asked local party leaders to draw up a list of suspects, and promised to take action against them “after coming to power”.

“Don’t think that you can get away with such criminal activity by presenting cheques to the chief minister’s relief fund once the Trinamool comes to power,” she said in a reference to an incident a few months ago when Kale Singh, a gangster, was allowed on the dais to present a cheque to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

“Under the leadership of CPM MP Bansa Gopal Choudhury, the coal mafia doesn’t allow free and fair polls in Asansol, Ranigunj, Jamuria and Pandaveswar. The police are hand in glove with them. I have come to know that police receive 1 crore every month from the mafia in Jamuria alone,” Mamata said.

Earlier in the day, district police chief Humayun Kabir said sub-inspector Asit Mondal, second officer of the Jamuria police station, had been suspended and the role of other policemen was being probed. In Kolkata, chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta said Mondal was on the spot when the murder was committed on Monday and had been found prima facie guilty of inaction. Some other officers may also be punished, he indicated.

On Monday, 45-year-old Robin Kazi, a Trinamool minority cell leader, was accompanying the Trinamool candidate on a campaign in Barul, when they were allegedly attacked by Dinobandhu Bauri and his goons. Kazi was shot and then crushed under a vehicle.

According to sources, the district administration had tipped off the SP of a possible attack on Kazi a few days ago. No effort was made to post an officer of the rank of a circle inspector with adequate police force at Barul. Even after the incident, the SP made no attempt to set up a checkpost on the Jamuria-Birbhum border, in spite of being instructed to do so, say sources.

Later on Monday night, Bauri’s SUV was found abandoned at Ajay river’s Darbardanga Ghat in Birbhum. Had the checkpost been set up, Bauri could have been apprehended, said a source, adding that the SP and IGP, western zone, Zulfiqar Hassan reached the spot only at night though the murder was committed at 2.20pm. The EC asked the district police to arrest Bauri by noon on Tuesday. It did not happen.

On Tuesday, Mamata led a rally from Akhalpur More to Barul village with Kazi’s body. It is panic within the CPM leadership that prompted the party to resort to this sort of violence, she said.

“Not a single vote should be cast for the bloodthirsty Left Front candidates. Ensure that they forfeit their security deposits,” she said. Accompanied by local leader Moloy Ghatak, Mamata met Kazi’s family in Hijolgora village.

“On Monday, his son sat for his last paper of the higher secondary examinations. His only fault was that he dreamt of change. How brutal can people be to deliberately crush somebody under the wheels of a car? This can happen only under the Left Front rule,” the Trinamool chief said.