Pro-Trinamool intellectuals to meet president, PM

Friday, January 14, 2011

KOLKATA - Carrying their battle against West Bengal’s ruling Left Front to Delhi, a group of painters, theatre activists and economists associated with the Trinamool Congress will meet President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next week to demand the central government’s intervention in the state.

The group, which will reach the national capital Sunday, will apprise top officials, including Home Minister P. Chidambaram, of the “lawlessness” and the “reign of terror” in the state.

They meet the president Monday morning, the prime minister Monday evening and the home minister Tuesday afternoon.

“We will tell the leaders about the political murders and atrocities being perpetrated by those in power and the lawlessness prevailing in the state for several years, particularly in the last few months. There is no administration in the state,” said theatre activist Bratya Basu.

Another theatre personality Arpita Ghosh said the delegation would also brief the central leaders about their experiences in Netai village, where they had gone Monday tp get a first-hand look at the situation in the aftermath of eight people being killed Jan 7. The state’s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) is being blamed for the incident.

With a woman succumbing to her bullet injury in a premier hospital Friday, the death count in the Netai carnage near the Maoist hub of Lalgarh of West Midnapore district has risen to eight.

It has been alleged that some people sheltered in an armed camp of the CPI-M had opened fire.

“We have listened to the heart-rending tales of the villagers. People there are suffering form a lack of security. People there as also in the rest of the state have lost confidence in the state government. So we will appeal to the central leaders to play a pro-active role,” said Ghosh.

Economist Abhirup Sarkar, painters Subhaprasanna and Samir Aich and theatre personality Shonali Mitra would also be part of the delegation.

The politically volatile state has seen an escalation of violence with rival parties trying to capture political turf through violent means. Several hundred political activists have died in clashes since the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

With the assembly elections slated to be held a few months from now, there is widespread fears of the situation deteriorating as the Trinamool Congress led opposition mounts a formidable challenge to the Communist led Left Front that has ruled the state since 1977.

The political divide has affected almost every section of the society, with intellectuals and celebrities also getting segregated into pro and anti government groups.

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