Six members of an apolitical forum, including CPI-M senior leader and former Kolkata mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya were allegedly heckled and manhandled at Ulhaspur in Hoogly district, near here today by locals. The members of Save Democracy Forum, created by former Supreme Court Judge Ashok Kumar Ganguly, had reached here this morning to speak to the owners of a 17-acre waterbody to allow it to be filled up for the proposed Tarakeswar-Bishnupur rail line.
When the Forum’s car reached the area about 40 persons in the presence of police blocked the road protesting against their visit.
As the Forum members tried to speak to the protestors, they allegedly pushed Bhattacharya and snatched away his mobile. They also allegedly called him a murderer and said CPI-M men were back to disturb peace that had returned to the area after the defeat of the Left Front. “We will not allow CPI-M men to enter the area,” they shouted.
The policemen present at the spot persuaded him to go to Arambagh and Bhattacharya lodged a complaint at the office of the sub-divisional police office.
“Am I murderer ? TMC goons openly abused, beatup and manhandled us infront of police and later threatened to kill us.I never faced such a situation in my life, not even in 1972.”
However, Trinamool Congress MLA Manas Mazumdar said the protest was held by villagers whose family members were killed during the CPI-M tenure.
“We were not involved in the incident,” he said echoing Hoogly district TMC leader and state Agri-marketing minister Tapan Dasgupta that none from the party had been involved in it.
“CPI-M men came here in the garb of Save Democracy Forum,” Mazumdar claimed and wondered about Bhattcharya’s visit today.
He said, 187 owners of the 268 received compensation cheques. “We will not acquire the waterbodies without everybody’s consent.”
A local Lakshmikanta Ray claimed that most of the land owners didn’t receive cheques and the block development officer gave “false statistics.”
Superintendent of police Sukesh Jain said he had received Bhattacharya’s complaint and investigation into the incident has already started.
Governor K N Tripathi was apprised of the incident by WBPCC President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury who met him during the day.