As the tribal agitation at Jhargram over the November 2 Salbani blast entered its 19th day, the Congress today requested AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi to visit the area to see how "tribals were facing torture by police and CPI-M cadres" and asked him to raise the issue in Parliament.
In a letter to Gandhi, Congress legislature party leader Manas Bhunia requested him to send a high-power team to visit trouble-torn Lalgarh area before his visit, which should comprise mostly SC and ST leaders. Gandhi had earlier sought a report on Lalgarh situation, he said.
Giving details of the alleged torture and atrocities on the tribal people in the area after the blasts in West Midnapore district, the CLP leader requested him to raise the issue in Parliament in its next session to expose the "true face of the CPI-M".
He said after the November 2 landmine explosion at Salbani, in which Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasada had a miraculous escape, the police had resorted to torture the tribals, including women. To protest arrests, the tribals had launched agitation and started a road blockade.
The CLP leader said that even after nearly three weeks since the stir began no action was taken against any police officer at Lalgarh police station.
He said the Congress would launch a 36-hour sit-in demonstration in front of the police station tomorrow demanding restoration of peace in the area.
Yesterday, a youth Congress delegation had met the agitators at Lalgarh.
The blast had occurred while the convoy was retuning after groundbreaking ceremony at the JSW Bengal Steel Project at Salboni.