Kolkata: The Left parties in West Bengal have joined ranks to protest against the killing of two Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders, allegedly by members of the ruling TMC.
Pradip Tah, who earlier represented Burdwan North in the Assembly, and the party`s district committee member Kamal Gayen were lynched in the clash in Dewandighi in Burdwan district yesterday.
"The Trinamool men attacked a peaceful procession brought out by our partymen in support of the Feb 28 all-India strike called by various trade unions. The Trinamool men used lethal weapons and killed the two leaders," CPI-M state secretariat member Shyamal Chakraborty said.
However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has rejected the charge. "It is a result of internal clash (within CPI-M)," she said.
Today, the Left parties in the states, led by the CPI(M) took to the streets in Kolkata to protest against the killing.
The body of the slain comrade Pradip Tah was brought to the state capital and first kept at the state headquarters of the CITU and then taken in a massive procession to the state headquarters of the CPI(M) at Alimuddin Street.
Most of the top leadership of the state CPI (M), including former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and senior leader Biman Bose, paid their last respects to their fallen comrade. Senior leaders of other Left parties like the CPI, Forward Bloc were also present.
Later, the body would be taken to DYFI state head office and from there to the Vidhan Sabha, before taking it back to Burdwan for the last rites.
The CPI-M has taken out protest rallies in other parts of the state as well. The CPI-M Burdwan district leadership has called a 12-hour shutdown in the district to protest against the killings.
The Congress, an ally of the Trinamool, also urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to take stern action.
State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim claimed that the CPI-M workers had Wednesday morning torn down flags of all other parties in the area.
"Any death is unfortunate. But in the name of canvassing for the strike, the CPI-M tried to re-establish a reign of terror in the area which triggered the incident. Though he is now dead, Tah was infamous for bringing out armed processions and perpetrating violence," Hakim said.