Santipur, Sept. 2: The senior officials at Santipur police stations in Nadia having a tough time to deploy civic volunteers for night vigilance in its 111 Sq. Km. area as nearly half of them being regularly engaged to keep watch at the residence of 23 Trinamul Congress councilors and 7 party leaders.
The reason is that these Trinamul councilors and leaders have suddenly became scared to be attacked by own party men divided into two erring rival groups – municipality chairman Ajoy De and MLA Arindam Bhattacharjee, in the wake of recent spate of bomb attack at the houses of some of their colleagues allegedly by rival group.
As repeated warning by chief minister Mamata Banerjee and party’s Nadia affair in charge Partha Chatterjee failed to control bickering, police have come up to save the party from sheer embarrassment by deploying the civic volunteers to keep watch on the residences of these 30 leaders particularly during night.
Although Nadia superintendent of police Sheesh Ram Jhajharia refused to comment if any of these leaders sought ‘protection’, the police from this week have engaged 120 civic volunteers out of 247 to keep watch on these houses in plain dress.
From Monday police deploying two civic volunteers each for two shifts (6pm-12pm/12pm-6am) at the residences of these 30 party leaders daily from 6pm to 6am in next morning. “They are keeping a vigil from dusk to dawn and scanning every unusual movement there”, a police officer said.
But this deployment has suffered night vigilance in other areas. An officer of Santipur police said: “We are helpless despite vast remote areas remained unattended in night. Nevertheless, the volunteers deployed as the internal bickering of the ruling party has took such a violent turn that any mishap could occur”
Nadia police Superintendent Sheesh Ram Jhajharia said: “Police has done what is required and will do according to the need of the situation”
Trouble for the Trinamul councilors and leaders began after June 21 following local MLA Arindam Bhattacharjee, who won on Congress ticket joined Trinamul along with Congress MLA Sankar Singh.
In 2016 assembly election Bhattacharjee won defeating sitting Trinamul MLA and municipality chairman Ajoy De.
Bhattacharjee’s followers are at loggerhead with municipality chairman Ajoy De since he joined Trinamul Congress in June dividing the party in two factions.
“The newly inducted MLA is very ambitious and desperately trying to make a strong support base in Santipur making erosion in Ajoy De’s camp, who has been trying to retain his base since defeat in 2016 assembly election that eventually led to ugly rivalry” – A Trinamul leader
A police officer said: “During the last two months at least six Trinamul leaders were either threatened or their houses attacked allegedly by other group. However, so far one no complaint was lodged except in one incident”.
The last incident occurred on August 26 night when miscreants hurled bombs at the residence of councilor Subrata Ghosh Ward-14, an Arindam loyalist.
“The attack made me and my family members very scared. My 7 year’s son has become traumatized due to the blast. I guess that some political persons who do not want me to see in politics are behind the attack”, he said.
Ajoy De, ruled out any bickering in the party, but welcomed the initiative of police. “People in Santipur realized that antisocial elements with political support trying to unleash panic. I never indulge such politics. This is not my culture”.
“I have appraised about the top leadership of the party to look into it”, De added.
MLA Arindam Bhattachjarjee said: “It is the choice of police to keep vigil wherever they wish. The party has not requested police to protect councilors and activists. People are there to protect them. Moreover, there has nothing as such happened for which we would need to seek police protection. There are definitely some differences within party as it happens in every family. We will settle it within ourselves”