The police Tuesday arrested two more CPI(ML) Red Star members in Bhangar as part of their investigation into the land agitation there which, according to the TMC, is a “Naxalite conspiracy”. The arrest have renewed tensions in the area, with villagers claiming that the government was going back on its promises, and is attempting to “bury the real issue of land grabbing”.
The police arrested Sankar Das, a CPI(ML) Red Star central committee member and Kaushal Debnath, who is the convener of the Bhangar Solidarity Committee. The two were produced before a court at Baruipur in South-24 Parganas, and were charged under various sections of the IPC, Arms Act and Explosives Act, said police. The two have been remanded in police custody for 10 days, a police officer added.
The arrests come at a time when villagers, who have been protesting against a proposed PGCIL 400/220kv sub-station, continue to be openly hostile towards TMC and police. On January 17, clashes between police and protesters led to the death of two youths who were shot — according to the government — by “outsiders”. After the arrests, villagers said the government was “repeatedly talking about conspiracies” because they “didn’t want to address the issue”.