Three persons have been booked for the death of a 32-year-old woman, who was given an injection by a quack.
F ormer MLA and CPI-M leader Nirapada Sardar was on Sunday arrested for instigating the arson attack on Friday on the property of a Trinamul Congress leader in Sandeshkhali in North 24-Parganas. Police from Bansdroni police station picked up the former CPI-M MLA at his South Kolkata residence on Sunday morning and he was later formally arrested. Mr Sardar was shifted to Basirhat police station thereafter.
The arrest was made on the complaints of Shibaprasad Hazra, whose poultry farms and garden house were set in fire at Sandeshkhali. Mr Sardar, the erstwhile MLA from Sandeshkhali Assembly constituency, will be produced before Basirhat sub divisional court tomorrow. Mr Sardar has vehemently denied the charges and said that while Hazra’s poultry farm and farmhouse took place on Friday, he was at a different place engaged in a party meeting.
“I was not even in the locality on Thursday and Friday, when the agitation by the local people started,” he told media persons after the arrest. Meanwhile, leaders from the Left Front, including prominent youth activist Minakshi Mukhopadhyay, who sought to go to Sandeshkhali today, were unable to do so because of the suspension of ferry services. Breaking through police barricades, Mukhopadhyay and her fellow activists attempted to proceed towards Sandeshkhali, but were hindered due to the closure of the ferry service at Ferighat. Expressing her frustration, Ms Mukhopadhyay said: “No one knows who owns this ferry terminal.
For days, there have been videos of two bridges being constructed here. Why aren’t they building a bridge to Sandeshkhali? It seems like an attempt to create opportunities for looting.” Police were tightlipped when asked about the closure of the ferry service. CPI-M leader Kaninika Bose Ghosh said: “We asked them to operate the ferries. Ticket counters should be open. We have no legal restrictions (Section 144) wherever we go.
Why is the terminal closed, and why are the police suddenly active?” The abrupt suspension of ferry services without prior notice also caused inconvenience to the public and disrupted normal transportation. Patients and their families were particularly affected. Left leaders allege that the police, acting on behalf of the ruling party, are solely responsible for halting the ferry services to prevent their movement.
Yesterday, BJP activists also faced restrictions when attempting to reach Sandeshkhali. Currently, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code is in effect in Sandeshkhali.