Busts of veteran CPM leaders Jyoti Basu and his cabinet colleague Subhash Chakraborty were on Tuesday found missing from a club in the Kolkata airport area in North 24-Parganas. Later, the busts, were traced to a nearby roadside ditch.
Tapas Chatterjee, a CPM leader from the Rajarhat-Narayanpur area, blamed “political rivals” for the incident. He alleged that since the Left Front was defeated in the 2011 Assembly polls, a group of Trinamool Congress supporters from the locality had been threatening the club to get the busts removed. “It marks a new level of political intolerance,” said Chatterjee.
He added that the area in Narayanpur — where the club Aurobindo Sangha is located — was a “colony area”, where refugees have settled. The locals are pre-dominantly Left supporters, as the refugees were rehabilitated by the previous regime. At the entrance of Aurobindo Sangha, there are busts of Netaji Shubas Bose, Jyoti Basu, Subash Chakrabarty and Tarun Sengupta — reportedly a local Communist leader.
Soon after Trinamool came to power in 2011, local TMC supporters allegedly issued threats to the club, demanding the removal of the busts of Jyoti Basu and Subash Chakrabarty. On Tuesday morning, locals found the two busts dismantled and thrown into a nearby ditch.
When contacted, Aurobindo Sangha Secretary Shanti Ranjan Majumdar said: “Following the incident, someone from the locality informed the police and a team from the local outpost had come here. Initially, they put the busts back at the club. But later, the officer in charge of the Airport police station took custody of the busts.”
At the state Assembly, Trinamool spokesperson minister Partha Chatterjee said: “It was an unfortunate incident… Trinamool Congress is being blamed but it was not done by any party supporter. The TMC is being falsely implicated.”
In the mid 70s, when the Naxals movement was at its peak in Kolkata, beheading of statues was the order of the day. The Naxals used to behead statues of great personalities of Bengal like Vidyasagar and Raja Ram Mohan as part of their campaign against the establishment.