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Bhangor unrest: How CPM is trying to give Mamata a taste of her own medicine

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 5:45 IST

The CPI(M) is seeking to leverage the anger over the killing of two farmers in Bhangor to take on the Mamata Banerjee regime.

Mofizul Khan and Allam Mollah were killed allegedly in police firing on a demonstration against the setting up of a power station in Kamarait village, South 24 Parganas district, last week. The police have since denied firing on the protestors.

The CPI(M) plans to hold protests in Kolkata later this month "to build pressure on the police to nab those responsible for the killing of the two farmers". Senior party leader Sujan Chakraborty said, "We will intensify our protests. We have also decided to meet with the chief minister in this regard."

Also Read: Losing the plot: what Bhangor farmers' stir says about Mamata's land policy

Another leader said the party is seeking to corner Mamata over her "silence" on the killings and "failure to visit the spot". "Why is the chief minister silent on the Bhangor incident? And why has a CID enquiry not been initiated yet?" the leader questioned.

This leader alleged that some people associated with the ruling Trinamool Congress were responsible for the violence in Kamarait and that's why the government has not ordered a CID enquiry.

The CPI(M) leader insisted that Mamata's announcement of compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for families of the slain farmers and her promise to shelve the power station won't mollify the agitated villagers. And the left party, it seems, is seeking to exploit this anger to give Mamata a taste of her own medicine. It was the Trinamool chief's exploitation of the unrest against the previous Left Front government's land acquisition in Singur and Nandigram that had played a key role in bringing her to power.

Also Read: Global Business Summit: Amid land acquisition unrest, Mamata sells Bengal to investors

The CPI(M) is now adopting her strategy to mobilise farmers against allegedly forcible land acquisition, political analysts pointed out. That Mamata has not visited Bhangor even a week after the killings has only played in the opposition party's hands.

"As land acquisition is involved in this case, the CPI(M) is trying to pay Mamata Banerjee back in her own coin," said Amiyo Mukherjee, a senior political analyst. "The Marxists will try to build on their protests, but they may find it difficult to mobilise support as the people still seem to favour Mamata, especially in rural areas."

Two days ago, at least 135 CPI(M) workers were detained for protesting at the Global Business Summit held by the Mamata regime with much fanfare in Kolkata. The detained included senior leaders such as Sujan Chakraborty, Manab Mukherjee, Anadi Sahoo and Kanti Ganguly. They were demanding the arrest of those responsible for the killings in Kamarait.

Asked about the CPI(M)'s plan to organise protests, state minister Partha Chatterjee said, "People of Bengal have rejected CPI(M). So, now they are protesting in the hope of getting some support." On why his government hasn't ordered an enquiry, he said, "The accused will be punished."

Also Read: Singur redux: farmer agitation in Kolkata's Rajarhat may bite Mamata

First published: 23 January 2017, 8:05 IST
 
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