Abu Ayes Mondal, senior TMC leader and chairman of West Bengal Minority Development and Finance Corporation (WBMDFC), has been accused of beating a toll plaza employee with his shoe when he was asked to show his identity card while passing through the VIP gate at Dankuni in Hooghly district on Sunday at around 1.30 pm.
“One of the employees, Gopal Sinha Ray, was at the gate when Mondal was trying to pass through. Ray didn’t recognise him and asked him for his identity card as his vehicle was not registered as one to bypass the toll,” said Bikash Chowdhury, the shift in-charge at that time. He said he saw the entire episode and ran Ray’s rescue. “I came over and said Ray didn’t know Mondal and thus had asked for toll. I admitted it was his mistake and had pleaded him to calm down. He suddenly flared up, accusing me of having harassing him in the past and started beating me with his shoe and slapped me,” Chowdhury said. He later filed a complaint at the Dankuni Police Station. He said he had brought the matter to the notice of senior Union leaders who had assured that appropriate action would be taken. Toll plaza employees said the police came over and asked Mondal to leave so as to prevent more trouble.
Mondal, however, claimed that the entire thing had been misconstrued and that the person concerned had asked for a bribe of Rs 500.
“What they are alleging against me is completely baseless. I am always harassed at this toll plaza. On Sunday, as I headed towards the toll gate, I was told I would have to pay Rs 500. That angered me and I shouted at the man at the barricade. We have had a heated argument and I was heckled before the police came to my rescue,” Mondal said.
Police said complaints have been filed by both the parties. “We received complaints from the employees on Sunday and Mondal has put in a written complaint today,” said a senior official at Dankuni Police Station.
TMC labour-wing leader Dola Sen refused to comment on the issue. He said, “The person who had allegedly been attacked is a member of a TMC-backed union and Mondal too is nominated by TMC. So the matter is the party’s internal concern which we would solve between ourselves.” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee, however, summoned four staff members of the Dankuni toll plaza, according to reports.