Kolkata: Citing the assault on a woman social worker, singer-turned-Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman has accused some party leaders of "influencing" police for their own selfish ends after coming to power in West Bengal.
Suman in his blog piece "So Soon?" highlighted the trauma of a Muslim woman, Ayesha Khatun, who failed to get justice as a section of Trinamool Congress leaders and ministers prevented police from arresting her attackers.
The incident took place June 21 when Ayesha Khatun, a social worker and author, boarded a train from Santhia to Howrah. Khatun was allegedly beaten up by a group of women school teachers who refused to let her occupy a seat in the compartment as that would not let them lie down on the seats meant for sitting. The women also allegedly pierced safety pins into her head.
"Khatun lodged a complaint with police and she reports that the police issued warrants against some women who had been involved in the train violence. But police couldn`t arrest the teachers as three of the school teachers have close ties with the TMC (Trinamool) party president of Birbhum district and probably also with a state minister," wrote Suman.
"I, for one, had hoped that once the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) was ousted from power the new political leaders and functionaries would try to resist the temptation of influencing the police for selfish ends at least for some time," wrote Suman.
Suman says in his blog that the inability of police to arrest the school teachers, against whom warrants were issued brings home the disturbing feeling that the old story of powerful political leaders forcing their will upon police is being repeated.
"Police are being told by leaders not to arrest those against whom arrest warrants have been issued since they are close to the leaders. And who are those leaders? Both of them are local TMC heavyweights - one of them is even a member of the honourable Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s cabinet," wrote Suman.
Suman quotes Khatun as saying that Satabdi Roy, the Trinamool Lok Sabha member from Birbhum, tried to move the police to arrest the miscreants but police "disobeyed her".
"Sensible and practical citizens would say: Such things are mundane in our political world. Every political party that`s in power would act in the same way. It may be true. But the question is: why so soon? Don`t they see that the new paint is still wet?" questioned Suman who had once led the intellectual brigade of the Trinamool Congress during its fight against the mighty Left Front.
Suman has had a strained relationship with the Trinamool leadership after raising his voice against alleged corruption among a section of party leaders and openly condemning the joint forces` operation in the state`s Maoist-hit districts.