Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, Dec. 3: Those who dare to protest against the ruling party are Maoists, even if they belong to the immediate family of their own partymen. This seems to be the new mantra of the CPI-M. A group of CPI-M cadres in Jadavpur, the constituency of chief minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, allegedly restrained the wife of a social activist from collecting her and her husband's new voter identity card yesterday, branding her and the family as Maoists.
When informed that the woman's late father was party's former Bankura district committee secretary and her brother was the present secretary of the Katwa zonal committee, the CPI-M cadres, instead of relenting, even dubbed them as Maoists and threatened her and her landlady with dire consequences if the family stayed on in their present residence for more than 24 hours.
Her only fault was that her husband, Mr Manik Mandal, had been voicing his protest against the CPI-M's alleged atrocities in Singur and Nandigram for the past few months. The family resides at 13A, Subhas palli in Jadavpur.
Mr Mandal today lodged a complaint with South 24 Parganas district police also met the additional superintendent (south industrial), Mr DP Singh, and sought their help.
According to Mr Mandal, his wife Dipti, the proprietor of an advertising agency, went to Netaji Nagar Camp around 1 p.m. yesterday to collect her new voter identity card along with her husband's as their previous ones were lost while shifting of residence. When her turn came, some CPI-M local committee members allegedly refused to allow her to collect the voter identity cards after branding her and her family as Maoists. When she returned home, a group of 20 local CPI-M cadres allegedly came to her and the landlady and gave an ultimatum of 24 hours to leave the locality. All this while, Mr Mandal was not at home. Later in the evening, Mrs Mandal was summoned to the local CPI-M office when she informed the CPI-M leaders about her family's connections with the party.
"But they even dubbed them as Maoists and again threatened my wife. I had no option but to inform the matter to the police," Mr Mandal said.
"My only fault is that I have raised my voice for the people of Singur and Nandigram. The CPI-M cadres would not allow us to live in the locality or have a voter identity card, in spite of having all valid documents," Mr Mandal alleged.