Protest march, campus strike roil West Bengal

Kolkata, Dec 26, 2010 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS) West Bengal is on the edge of a spiralling tension as the main Opposition Trinamool Congress takes out a protest march with the body of a murdered party activist from Lalgarh while the student wing of the ruling communists enforces a statewide strike on the campuses to decry the murder of a student activist.

The Trinamool Congress has planned to take out a protest march with the body of Sanatan Hembram of West Midnapore’s Lalgarh, who was allegedly murdered by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) men on Sunday.

The body was brought to Kolkata last last night by Trinamool Congress workers, led by the party’s youth President and MP Subhendu Adhikari.

The procession would follow a long stretch from Shyambazar in North Kolkata to Esplanade in the central.

The communists, however, alleged that Hembram was the member of People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), a front organisation of the Maoists, and he was murdered by none other than the left ultras.

The Trinamool move followed a flashpoint with the CPI-M over the past few days after Swapan Kolay, a member of the Students’ Federation of India(SFI), the CPI-M students’ wing, died after being beaten up allegedly by the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad supporters at Andul in Howrah district.

The same day, an SFI supporter was nearly blinded and another nine supporters of the organisation received inuries in an alleged attack by members of the rival students’ front at a Kolkata college.

Clashes between the two students’ organisation have been taking place regularly prompting Governor M K Narayanan to call for a halt in campus violence.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattachajee also said the unending violence on campus must stop.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee denied her party’s involvement in violence and blamed the killing on the CPI-M and its brand of violent politics.

She said her party would organise a protest march with the body whenever an activist was killed.

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