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Twin murders: It’s about platform stalls

The gruesome murder of two CITU leaders — they were hacked to death on Tuesday at the Durganagar railway station near Dum Dum airport...

Written by Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay | Kolkata |
January 29, 2009 3:07:44 am

Locals say assailants were also from CITU; CPM-backed bandh cripples parts of Kolkata

The gruesome murder of two CITU leaders — they were hacked to death on Tuesday at the Durganagar railway station near Dum Dum airport — may have been a result of a feud between the cadres of the labour union which is affiliated to the CPM. Initial reports suggest that a fight over setting up of stalls at one of the platforms led to the killings.

Sujit Dasgupta (60),president of Durganagar Station Hawkers’ Union and member of Dum Dum Zonal Committee of the CPM,and Shambhu Dasgupta (32),member of the executive committee of the Hawkers’ Union and also a member of the CPM,were hacked to death by a gang of six miscreants,all said to be associated with the CITU,near Durganagar station premises.

The Dum Dum police picked up four persons — Krishnendu Bhattacharya,Shibendu Bhattacharya,Asim Basak and Debashis Sanyal — from Titagarh early Wednesday.

“The FIR lodged by the families of the deceased names six persons. We have arrested four from their hideout at Titagarh and hope to arrest the remaining two very soon,” said Supratim Sarker,SP,North 24 Parganas.

While locals said the four arrested were linked to the CITU, party leaders vehemently denied the allegation. “They always join those who have muscle and money power. We heard that the assailants had joined Bishu Dasgupta’s faction — a local CPM leader who had been expelled from the party for corruption in 1980. They are our rivals,” said Tapan Patra,a CPM member from Birati West Local Committee.

CPM MP from Dum Dum,Amitava Nandi,visited the area and alleged that the assailants were sheltered by the Trinamool Congress,but the party chief denied the charge. “The murder was an outcome of their internal fight and they are blaming us. The internal fight of the CPM is coming to the surface more and more,” Mamata Banerjee said.

Meanwhile,life came to a standstill at Dum Dum and surrounding areas on Wednesday as the CPM called a 12-hour bandh in protest against the killings. All shops,schools and markets were closed. Traffic disruption in the area was near total.

The killings also brought to the fore the CITU’s role in allotment of stalls at railway stations. “Since the platform has been extended to accommodate 12-bogey trains,several people staked their claims to set up stalls. It’s the CITU that decides as to who will be allotted the stalls. Sujit Dasgupta was negotiating with claimants for shop spaces when he was attacked and killed. It was all pre-planned and cold-blooded murder,” said Patra.

However,Kaushik Bandopadhyay,the assistant manager of Indian Railway Catering and Tourist Company,which allots stalls on certain types of stations,said tenders for stalls at Durganagar would be floated by March this year. “We allot stalls on stations which fall in A,B and C category. Durganagar falls in C category. Open tenders are floated for stalls and all formal procedures are maintained,” he said. As the news of Tuesday’s killings spread,angry CPM supporters went on a rampage,torching the office of Sujan Tours and Travels and a motor bike.

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