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Goons looking for a new shelter

KOLKATA, 31 MARCH: Armed goons at Rajarhat, who once worked for the CPI-M, are now seeking shelter in the Trinamul Congress camp. These armed men, who had unleashed a reign of terror in areas dotted with bheris and used to collect tollas from fishermen and bheri-owners, were seen at a Trinamul Congress meeting held at Rajarhat’s Geetosri Cinema on 23 March.
After spotting some goons in the Thakurdari and Mahishbathan area, several local committee members of the party felt uncomfortable with their presence and finally Mrs Sumitra Mondal, a Trinamul Congress leader from Thakurdari, got up and told Mr Sabyasachhi Dutta, the Trinamul Congress candidate from Rajarjat-NewTown, that it is unacceptable that people, because of whom they had to leave their houses, would be attending party meetings with them. Mr Prabir Kar, Rajarhat block Trinamul president, was also present at the meeting. After an hour-long confusion and trading of allegations, Mr Dutta pacified the gathering and invited Ms Sumitra Mondal on the stage. She said that if the goons, who once belonged to the CPI-M stayed in the meeting, several members will have to boycott the meeting. The men in question have FIRs lodged against them in local police stations, the charges ranging from carrying illegal arms to attempt to murder. After the leaders launched a tirade, the men dispersed.
On condition of anonymity, a member of the party, who attended the meet on 23 March, said: “Several armed goons, who were earlier sheltered by the CPI-M, have come to know that if the Trinamul Congress comes to power, nobody would be able to save them from being arrested.
So they are now trying to get into the Trinamul fold.” Ms Sumitra Mondal is too naïve to understand that election cannot be won only with the power of ballot, especially when the Opposition is so well-armed, he added. A club at Kestopur is a den of such armed men. Trinamul Congress members have wrested control of the club from the CPI-M but the goons have stayed there after switching sides.
A notorious gangster, Shaheb, and his nephew, Barun, against whom an arrest warrant has been issued, were seen recently at Baguiati. They had reportedly come to meet some local Trinamul leaders to seek shelter. Some have successfully entered the good books of the Trinamul Congress like Mr Ranjit Roy against whom an FIR had been lodged at Rajarhat police station and who was earlier a bodyguard of former CPI-M MLA Mr Amitava Nandi. In a photograph with The Statesman, he is seen felicitating South Dum Dum Trinamul Congress block president Mr Samir Chatterjee.

Soma Basu

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