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CPM leader held in murder

india Updated: Jun 28, 2007 23:07 IST
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A top leader of the CPI (M) in the Singur area has been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the murder of a woman on December 18. She was fighting for the farmers who were protesting against land acquistion for the small car factory.

Suhrid Datta, the Zonal Committee Secretary of CPI(M) in Singur, was summoned for questioning on Thursday morning and arrested at about 5 pm. Six other party members had also been summonedfor questioning.

The dead woman, Tapashi Mallick's body was found in a trench inside the proposed small car project site in a charred condition. The CBI later took charge after a great hue and cry over the murder.

On Wednesday evening, the CBI had asked Suhrid Datta along with CPI(M) party's district committee member Dibakar Das, CPI(M) party activists ------- Dibakar Sandhukhan, Subodh Koley, Mahadeb Santra and Dilip Malik along with Krishi Jami Rakkha Committee member Jaydeb Santra to come to the Salt Lake's CBI office for inquiry on Thursday morning.

At around 10 am all of them reached the CBI's office at Salt Lake where the CBI officers till 5 in the evening interrogated them. Soon after the interrogation was over, Suhrid Datta was taken to Bidhannagar Sub Divisional Hospital for medical check up, which is mandatory after arresting an accused. Others were allowed to go back to their home. "He was a conspirator and that is why he has been arrested," said SK Sahay, SP, CBI (SCB).

The CBI during interrogation learnt many discrepancies between his statement. Initially the CBI sleuth thought that he had knowledge of the murder but as the interrogation went on it was clear to the CBI officers that he was one of the conspirator of Tapashi Malik's murder.

The arrest has fluttered the political circles in the Hooghly district as well as the state as this is the first time a top CPI(M) leader has been arrested in connexion with the trouble brewing at Singur. Suhrid, a diploma civil engineer, emerged as a top leader of the Singur area since 1977-78. He had been a Krishak Sabha leader and got party membership in the late 70s. But his rise as a party leader was prominent from the 80s. Dutta was the successor of Dibakar Das, who was also summoned by CBI in the same case on Wednesday.

CBI officers summoned Suhrid on Wednesday night when he was attending a party meeting at the zonal committee office. Ironically, a team of CBI officers including DSP, CBI, Partha Sarathi Basu, met him to discuss the 'socio-economic condition and future of the Tata project at Singur' at the Singur BDO office almost two months back.

Suhrid talked to HT before going to the CBI office in Kolkata. "I was expecting the Tapasi murder issue to come as a subject during that meeting but they never seemed to be interested in that issue," he said on way to the CBI office.

District Secretariat member of the CPI(M), Balai Sabui said "We only wanted the CBI inquiry. We have nothing more to say from here."