Food and supplies minister Jyotipriya Mullick has put in place a new peace committee at Kamduni village in North 24-Parganas to ostensibly counter Kamduni Pratibadi Mancha that has been formed by villagers to seek justice for a 22-year-old college girl who was raped and murdered on June 7.
Mullick has long been persuading the victims family members to dissociate themselves from the villagers agitation.
The new committee has been named Kamduni Shanti Raksha Committee.
Interestingly,the president of the committee,Sirajuddin Ahmed,former teacher-in-charge of the Free Primary School of the village,said he has no clear idea about his role and responsibilities.
Ahmed said Mullick had proposed that he become the president of the committee and admitted he had not been to the village or met the victims family after the incident owing to a prolonged ailment.
The minister asked me to become the president of the committee,which,he said,has been formed to maintain peace and harmony in the area and stand by the victims family. I have been told that it will also work for the development of the area but frankly I am not quite sure how I will be of any help given my deteriorating health. I have had a stroke and suffer from high blood pressure, he said.
I am still not mentally prepared for it, Ahmed added.
Mullick had earlier said Ahmed had informed that the existing forum was a smokescreen and is being used by the opposition parties to defame the state government.
Ahmed had told me that the existing committee was backed by the Congress and CPM,and is being used to malign the TMC government. We have. therefore,put up this committee and extend all cooperation to it, he said.
Pradeep Mukherjee,headmaster of the same school where Ahmed was teacher-in-charge and head of the advisory board of Kamduni Pratibadi Mancha,said Ahmed should have spoken with him before assuming the presidents post of the new committee.
It is disconcerting that my former colleague would be part of a committee which has clearly been formed to nullify our movement for justice, he said and added that Ahmed stays too far from the village and had not even visited the village in the last two years.
He has not even visited the victims family after the incident, he said.