Nexus between politicians and anti-social elements blamed

The gruesome murder of a 19-year-old student Sourav Chowdhury at Bamongachi in North 24 Parganas has brought to the fore the crime incidence in Barasat and adjoining areas of the district.

Over the past few years, Barasat- the district headquarters of the North 24 Parganas – and its adjoining areas have been witness to a series of ghastly crimes, some of which have outraged the country.

The gang-rape and murder of a college girl at Kamduni village, the death of a girl, who was allegedly raped twice at Madhyamgram, murder of anti-rape crusader at Barun Biswas at Sutia have all raised questions about safety and security of people in the area.

Social activists point out that North 24 Parganas, the most populated district of the State and second most populated in the country, is going through rapid urbanisation, resulting in the proliferation of building syndicates and illegal activities in the district.

“There is a lot of easy money which has resulted in this lumpenisation. This has led to a culture of impunity where those committing crime feel that they can get away after committing crimes,” Anuradha Talwar, social activist told The Hindu.

These syndicates and bheries – large fishing ponds – are controlled by anti-socials, who have links with both the district administration and the political leadership, say the activist. Activist like Ranajit Sur, secretariat-member of Association for Protection of Democratic Rights pointed out that a “unique nexus of anti-social politicians and administration” has resulted in such crimes. The activists alleged that the nexus existed during the previous Left Front government and has grown in strength under the Trinamool Congress government. Pointing out that the district shares a long border with Bangladesh, both Ms. Talwar and Mr. Sur say that smuggling and cross-border crimes are widely prevalent in North 24 Parganas, and many from the neighbouring country take refuge in the district. After the Kamduni gang-rape, the State government has set up three additional police stations in Barasat sub-division, but the move has not helped in curbing crime.

Pradip Mukherjee, the former headmaster of Kamduni Primary school, who led the protest against the gang-rape in the village said those who raised their voice against injustice were targeted.

“The anti- socials killed Barun Biswas at Sutia, who protested against rape. Now, even the 19-year-old college student, who protested against anti-socials, has not been spared,” Mr. Mukherjee told this correspondent. Since the people have no expectations from administration they have no option but to protest, he added.

More In: Kolkata