CPI(M) leaders arrested from summit venue

Kolkata: Senior CPI(M) leaders Md Salim, Sujan Chakrabarty and Kanti Ganguly were arrested along with several party workers when they staged a protest in front of Milan Mela ground, the venue of the Bengal Global Business Summit, here.

Police had a tough time controlling protestors as the CPI(M) workers, led by Ganguly, tried to enter the summit venue forcibly.

Ganguly was stopped and arrested later along with Salim and Chakraborty, a senior city police officer said.

The CPI(M) activists also blocked the EM Bypass near Parama Island in front the venue that led to a huge traffic jam in and around the area.

“Villagers have died in police firing in Bhangar during their protests against the sub-station project. The state has failed to protect them and instead provided protection to land mafias…

“They do not have the right to host such a business summit. This is the protest of common people,” Chakrabarty alleged.

He alleged that police manhandled the protesters, not even sparing the women.

State Power Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said, “When Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trying to promote the state, the CPI(M) staged such a protest. That is why they were alienated from the people.”

Senior Trinamool Congress leader and state Panchyat minister Subrata Mukherjee condemned the protest programme, saying, “It is an attempt to tarnish the state’s image.”

“Political parties have the right to protest. This is not the right time to hold such a protest…They could have done it later… They are setting a bad precedent”, he said.

One person was killed and another wounded at Bhangar early this week during protest against the construction of a powergrid sub-station.

The police denied that it had opened fire and said the person was killed in clashes that broke out between outsiders and the residents of the area.

The state government subsequently halted the project.