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War of words between DIG-CRPF and CPI-M minister

Kolkata, Mon, 12 May 2008 NI Wire

Nandigram again became the most contended issue after Panchayat polls took an ugly turn allegedly after local police with the backing of CPI-M involved in a bitter spite with CRPF.

The situation reached to extremity after CPM's Haldia MP Lakshman Seth alleged that CRPF DIG Alok Raj and his team were working in partisan manner by siding with the opposition and directed the DIG not to hover around polling booth and to remain within the limit of their camp.

Raj said, “Around 9.30 am, he asked me to stop patrolling outside my camp and ordered me to return. The incident took place in the presence of all my subordinates and mediapersons. I will lodge an official complaint regarding this,” he added.

Reportedly, FIR against Alok Raj which said that he has molested two women came as a shock. The two women have alleged that Raj and his personnel have molested them during a raid.

Also, Debashish Chakrabarti, OC, Nandigram confirmed the news of molestation and said “I have a written complaint of the women. We will investigate the matter and take action.”

He later told the media persons that the police force were attacked by CRPF on duty while they were trying to save the women who were supporters of CPM and that he too sustained injuries in his head.

Raj on other hand while refuting the charges said that he is ready to face an inquiry by an independent body but also counter alleged that CRPF lady constable were confronted by police who in process got seriously injured including Constables Sunita Pandurani and Dimple Sharma.

Further the state government has ordered a probe into the matter according to which, OC Debashish Chakrabarty was assaulted by CRPF personnel.

Home Secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti, briefing the media said,” We have got reports that OC Nandigram has been beaten up by CRPF personnel. If it did happen it is a serious matter and condemnable.”

On the question regarding Seth and Raj’s argument, the minister said, “An MP is not supposed to give instructions to the police, but we have to see whether it was an instruction or a request.”

Alok Raj earlier chose to go public with arguments he had with Lakshman Seth over law and order situation in Nandigram. The words war became a major issue which was covered by media.

Seth has argued, “Raj exceeded his limits…. I am an MP and he failed to answer my phone twice yesterday. He did not even have the courtesy to call me back. It was unethical on his part to put the mobile in loudspeaker mode before the media. It amounts to breach of privilege.”

CPI-M now is ready to back its member and opined that Raj has no right to involve media and humiliate the MP.

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