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CPI leader's death rocks Assam assembly

K Anurag in Guwahati | July 14, 2008 19:21 IST

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Assam: CPI leader dies after police thrashing

The entire opposition in the Assam assembly on Monday created an unruly scene demanding adjournment of the House over the 'failure' of the Congress-led government to protect the lives and property of common people.

The legislators of the opposition parties led by Asom Gana Pasrishad stormed the well of the House shouting slogans against the government for 'engineering the murder of state Communist Party of India leader Manoj Deka' after the Speaker Tanka Bahadur Rai reserved his ruling on an adjournment motion moved by the leader of the opposition Chandra Mohan Patowary (AGP).

CPI leader Manoj Deka died on July 4 after he had been assaulted by the Assam police at Morigaon town on July 1 evening.

The opposition parties including the AGP, CPI, CPI-M, Bharatiya Janata Party and the Assam United Democratic Front alleged that it was a 'political murder carried out using the state police force' and demanded an inquiry into the incident by a sitting high court judge, rejecting the state government's decision to hold the probe with a retired judge of the high court.

Senior CPI leader Drupad Borgaohain alleged that it was a murder carried out by the police at the behest of political rivals of Manoj Deka.

He raised an alarm stating that such gross misuse of the police force to settle political rivalry would pose a threat to the democratic system in the state.

"It was for the first time since Independence that a political murder in the state was carried out by using the police force. There must be a high-level judicial probe by a sitting high court judge to find out the circumstances leading to death of the CPI leader and exemplary punishment to the guilty."

The opposition parties observed that the killing of CPI leader Manoj Deka was a clear reflection of how insecurity had gripped the common people in the state in the face of growing police highhandedness.

The Assam government had earlier arrested the police constable who had beaten up the CPI leader, besides suspending the officer in charge of Marigaon police station on charges of dereliction of duty.

The opposition parties on Monday demanded the immediate arrest of the officer in charge as it was his PSO which had bashed up the CPI leader while he was coming home from the market.

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