Thursday, June 25, 2009

'Maoists' vent ire on Citu office in Purulia

24 Jun 2009, 0501 hrs IST, Falguni Banerjee & Suman Mandal , TNN

PURULIA/NANDAKUMAR (EAST MIDNAPORE): Suspected Maoists set fire to a Citu office in Purulia's Barabazar around midnight on Monday. While leaving the
area, the attackers shouted slogans warning that the state was playing with fire by continuing with police and paramilitary operations at Lalgarh. A CPM local committee office was also set ablaze by an angry mob in East Midnapore's Nandakumar.

The building housing the office of the Citu-affiliated Beldi Apide Mine Employees ' Union in Barabazar, Purulia , was partially gutted. The attackers who set the office ablaze shouted 'CPI (Maoists) Zindabad' , warning that more fires would burn if the Lalgarh operation continues.

"Prima facie evidence indicates that Maoists are behind the blaze. We are investigating ," said Purulia SP Rajesh Yadav. No one has been arrested yet.

The district CPM leadership , however, alleged that Trinamool was behind the attack, not Maoists. CPM state committee member Monindra Gope and Gangadhar Mahato, secretary of the mine employees' union, alleged that Trinamool, disguised as Maoists, had carried out the attack.

Rejecting the allegation, district Trinamool president K P Singh Deo said: "We are not involved."

However, fingers are being pointed at Trinamool for Tuesday morning's attack and subsequent blaze at the CPM local committee office at Phekua Bazaar in Nandakumar.

Locals alleged that women were frequently harassed inside the office. They alleged that a girl student was attacked there on Monday . When her family went to protest, they were severely beaten up by CPM activists and supporters, alleged Bablu Mondal, a local. Locals barged into the CPM office on Tuesday morning to protest the alleged harassment of women and Monday's attack. An altercation broke out between them and party workers. The mob attacked the party workers and set the office ablaze.

A fire tender was sent and managed to control the blaze after a while.

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