Tuesday, February 16, 2010

EFR cops’ families vent ire at ministers

Express News Service
Posted: Wednesday, Feb 17, 2010 at 0323 hrs
Kolkata:

A team of Left Front ministers led by State Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta bore the brunt of the anger of Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) personnel and their family members at Salua near Kharagpur, the base camp of the state paramilitary forces, over yesterday’s Naxal attack.

The ministers had gone to Salua to attend the funeral ceremonies of the EFR personnel killed in the attack at Silda in West Midnapore. Besides Dasgupta, the team comprised Minister for Disaster Management Murtaza Hussain (Forward Bloc), Minister for Civil Defence Srikumar Mukherjee (CPI), Minister for Sports Kanti Ganguly (CPM) and Minister for Fisheries Kiranmoy Nanda (Socialist Party).

As soon as the ministers reached the Salua camp, the policemen and their families surrounded them and demanded that Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee should come and apologise for the incident.

“Our husbands are over 40 years old and they do not have any training in fighting Maoists. Why are they being sent there to become sitting ducks? We want the Chief Minister to come here and give us an answer,” said Basanti Chhetri, the wife of an EFR policeman.

The crowd did not pay any heed to the ministers’ appeals to maintain calm. The ministers were then escorted to a government office in Salua, where they remained holed up till late at night, with a large contingent of policemen being deployed to guard them.

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