West Bengal CPI(M) secretary Mohammad Salim on Tuesday came down heavily on the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in the state for what he termed as the “use of police to unleash violence on Opposition parties”.
Addressing members of the party’s student and youth wings at Kolkata’s Esplanade, Salim said, “The police killed Anis Khan (a former student leader). This state does not belong to thieves, looters and dacoits. Bengal belongs to ordinary people like workers, farmers and the middle class. The youths need jobs. The state needs industry. The TMC government has played with the lives of the people. Enough is enough. We need to change the fate of this state.”
The youth and student wings of CPM held an ‘Insaaf’ (justice) rally at Esplanade to seek justice for Anis Khan, who died under mysterious circumstances in February this year. The Left has accused the police of killing the youth, a charge denied by the state government.
While Anis’s father Salem Khan has alleged that his son was assaulted and thrown off the third floor of their house at Amta in Howrah by policemen and some people in civic volunteer uniforms, the police have denied the allegation and claimed that he had fallen accidentally.
Mounting pressure on the state government, Salim said the CPI(M) will continue to fight for peace, justice and ensuring employment for youths.
“We have to save the education system which has been tainted with corruption charges in the recruitment process. The time has come to fight for employment for our youth. We also have to fight the forces that threaten to disrupt the communal harmony in the state,” said Salim, a CPI(M) politburo member.
He also accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of being aligned with the RSS and claimed that the TMC helped the saffron outfit gain foothold in the state.
Seeking to give a war cry with an eye on the 2023 panchayat elections in the state, Salim said, “Enough of being in a shell for 10-11 years, the new generation is waking up and wants to break free from it.”
He claimed that a helpline opened by the CPI(M) for people to express their grievances about irregularities in their panchayat areas has received huge response.
“We are having to buy more computers and engage additional volunteers for complaint registration,” he said.
The CPI(M) leader alleged that the Narendra Modi government at the Centre was selling off assets — from airports to post offices.
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“It is not for this that he was made the prime minister, nor was Mamata Banerjee made the chief minister of Bengal for what she is doing,”Salim said.
CPI(M)’s youth wing (DYFI) secretary Minakshi Mukherjee said the permission for Tuesday’s rally was not granted by the police. “The police are doing everything to stop our movement. Our fight for justice will be a long one. But we are ready to fight the long battle,” said.
— with PTI inputs