TMCP, SFI, CP students clash in Malda; CPM MLA injured

Report by: 
SOUMYA DE SARKAR
MALDA
2 Jan 2017

Clashes between activists of Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) and SFI-CP (Chhatra Parishad) alliance over the collection of nomination papers for students’ union elections in three colleges kept the district rocking for the whole day.

Alleging that the district and police administrations failed to ensure security for the students CP and SFI activists started demonstrating in front of the bungalow of the district magistrate Sharad Dwivedi in the evening. Meanwhile, Khagen Murmu CPIM MLA who was hit with a sharp weapon during the clashes was admitted to Malda Medical College & Hospital (MMCH) in the evening.   Today was the first day of issuing nomination papers for students’ union elections in 10 colleges in the district to be held on 14 January. Though police arrangements were made in front of colleges, tension mounted up in front of Malda College and Gour College as the students of opposing students’ organisations indulged in sloganeering since morning.

Clashes started around 12.30 pm and Sujay Banik, a CP activist was allegedly roughed up by the TMCP supporters. Alleging that TMCP supporters indulged in violence, Congress MLA Mottakin Alam along with CP leaders blocked NH-34 for half an hour. Police had to rush to the spot to remove the blockade.

 Alam alleged that TMC workers at the behest of their leaders started assaulting students intending to collect nomination papers. “A police office of the DSP rank witnessed the entire scene but remained mute,” the Congress MLA said. Violence was also reported from Gour College  where TMCP and SFI-CP alliance  members got engaged in clashes time and again. Meanwhile, CPM MLA Murmu went to Gazole College with the SFI and CP leaders. Altercation started between Murmu and Ranjit Biswas, block Trinamool president of Gazole.

“Suddenly during the altercation armed TMC workers mobbed me and one of them attempted to kill me with a sharp knife. As my security pushed me away, I was narrowly saved but the knife left a scratch on my neck,” the CPM MLA said. Murmu was rushed to a local hospital and later moved to MMCH. He said that he would seek intervention from the speaker of the state assembly informing of the reckless violence by TMC goons. Protesting against attack on Murmu, CPM leaders took out a rally in the evening and started demonstrating in front of the DM’s residence. Notably, DM himself is the president of Malda College governing body. Jaya Dutta, state TMCP president, however, rubbished the CPM MLA’s allegations.

“It was a college issue. Why the CPM MLA went there, being an outsider.  I have heard he went there to instigate his student-leaders to cause violence. Common students were aggrieved and Murmu was forced to leave. Now, he is distorting facts,” Dutta said.