A massive protest march was led by the leadership of the Left Front, including former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and chairman Biman Bose, on the streets of the city on Wednesday condemning the recent attack on senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Abdur Razzak Molla and the subsequent violence by supporters of the Trinamool Congress.
Senior leaders of the Left parties held up a banner and led the march while an overwhelming crowd walked behind them. Their numbers were so large that the car in which Mr. Bhattacharjee came to the protest could not make its way to the area where it started off from and he could only join it midway.
Waving red flags, banners and posters, they chanted slogans against the Trinamool Congress government for failing to take action against the perpetrators of the attack on Mr. Molla on Sunday and the violence witnessed at Bamanghata in the Bhangar area of the State’s South 24 Parganas district on Tuesday.
The violence in the area occurred even as both parties are gearing up for the upcoming rural polls and the developments are sure to influence the campaign, not only in Bhangar but also elsewhere in the State.
Mr. Molla, who is yet to recover from his injuries and is presently admitted to a private hospital in the city, was assaulted in the Bhangar area allegedly by supporters of the Trinamool Congress. According to the CPI(M) MLA, the attack was led by former Trinamool Congress MLA Arabul Islam, who also delivered the first blow.
The Trinamool Congress leadership has whole-heartedly backed Mr. Islam and it was in protest against the failure of the police to arrest him that a demonstration had been organised outside the office of the district’s Superintendent of Police on Tuesday.
Supporters of the party were on the way to this demonstration when they were again attacked, this time by armed activists, allegedly of the Trinamool Congress. The Left Front claimed that at least 13 of their supporters sustained bullet injuries and 14 vehicles were set ablaze.
Allegations that at least ten of the injured were prevented from being taken to hospital have only made matters worse. Significantly, the party has also alleged that in an attempt to downplay the attack on Mr. Molla, the hospital authorities were being pressurised by the Trinamool Congress government to discharge him to substantiate the party’s claims that he was “faking it.”
Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Surya Kanta Mishra has pointed out that even as the hospital authorities told journalists that he was fit to be discharged and was only being kept at the hospital on his family’s insistence, a fracture in his ribs was detected during an MRI scan.
These claims of supporters and leaders being denied medical attention following the incident of political violence comes in the wake of the scenes in the West Bengal Assembly last month when MLAs of the Left Front and the Trinamool Congress clashed. Left Front MLAs were merely administered first aid and sent away from the State-run SSKM hospital, although it was later detected that some of them had suffered serious injuries.