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WB skeleton recovery: Buddhadeb's arrest demanded

Last updated on: August 12, 2011 17:20 IST

A day after Communist Party of India-Marxist member of legislative assembly Sushanta Ghosh was apprehended by the Criminal Investigation Department in a murder case, the West Bengal Assembly on Friday witnessed uproarious scenes on the issue with the ruling bench demanding the arrest of former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Government Chief Whip Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said during Zero Hour that Ghose, the former minister of Pascham Anchal Unnayan Affairs, had indulged in "mass killing with full knowledge of the former chief minister".

He demanded that Bhattacharjee be arrested and interrogated as also Deepak Sarkar, a key CPI-M leader in West Midnapore district.

Ghosh was arrested onn Thursday in connection with the recovery of seven skeletons from near his ancestral house in West Midnapore district on June two, after his anticipatory bail was rejected by a Midnapore court.

Public Health Engineering Minister Subrata Mukherjee rubbished accusations that the state government was pursuing vindictive politics against the CPI-M leader and wondered how Ghosh, "who was responsible for the killing of 200 people", could retain his house membership.

Membership of an MLA was cancelled on a much lighter charge during the tenure of the previous Left Front government, he told the House. Mukherjee alleged Ghose was a minister in charge of "mass killing and supply of arms and should be given exemplary punishment."

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra demanded adjournment of the House to discuss the "reign of terror unleashed by the ruling Trinamool Congress".

Mishra alleged that 50 people, including 30 Left workers, were killed and about 2,000 injured after the new government assumed office. Speaker Biman Bandopadhyay said that it was matter of general law and order and should be raised during discussion on Home Budget.

He allowed Mishra to read out the adjournment motion. Left members, including former minister Rezzak Mollah, then jumped into the well and rushed to the Speaker's podium and encircled it.

The Speaker, however, proceeded with calling attention motions and mention cases. Left legislators then staged a walk out, shouting slogans in the Assembly lobby.  Irrigation Minister Manas Bhunia said that 468 persons were killed in Keshpur during the Left Front rule and 13 skeletons were recovered.

He requested Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to order operations in Keshpur, Garbeta and Pingla to trace more skeletons.

Stating that former district magistrates and superintendents of police of the district should also be interrogated, he said that Left legislators had no moral right to speak about terror as "52,000 people were killed during the Left rule in the state".

Tarun Naskar of Socialist Unity Centre of India, an ally of Trinamool Congress, alleged the previous government had unleashed "state-sponsored terrorism".

Later, talking to reporters, the Leader of the Opposition said his party had only wanted a thirty minute discussion on terror and if the government had good intentions it could have allowed the debate.

He said CPI-M would be compelled to approach Governor M K Narayanan to take up the issue of terror "as we are not able to express our views in the house."

Referring to the arrest of Ghosh, he said CPI-M leaders were charged with false cases, while Maoists and  Kamtapur Liberation activists were being released by the government.
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