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For them, election day marked a new beginning

For some villagers of Kandua in Udaynarayanpur assembly constituency of Howrah, the day marked a new beginning even as it brought back the dark memories of June 18, 1991, when they had been maimed allegedly by CPI(M) cadres.

india Updated: May 04, 2011 15:20 IST
Bibhas Bhattacharyya

For some villagers of Kandua in Udaynarayanpur assembly constituency of Howrah, the day marked a new beginning even as it brought back the dark memories of June 18, 1991, when they had been maimed allegedly by CPI(M) cadres.

The wounds from that day, when CPI(M) cadres allegedly mounted a savage assault on some villagers with known Congress leanings, and chopped off their hands because they had dared to vote for the Congress, remain raw to this day.

A complaint was lodged at Amta police station and subsequent trial proceedings, which were initiated shortly after, continue to this day. Four CPI(M) cadres were arrested in connection with the case a year after warrants were issued in their name. However, they were later released on bail.

Though a final verdict on the case is yet to be out, the victims and their relatives claim that it was a motivated assault and that they were targeted for being Congress supporters.

“Shortly after the result of the parliament and assembly elections came out in 1991, CPI(M) goons raided our house and started raining blows on my father and other family members. They brutally murdered my father,” said Kamal Patra, son of Gopal Patra, who was allegedly killed by CPI(M) workers. In addition to Gopal, the likes of Champa Mondal, Chamatkari Patra, Sila Patra, Asta Bangal, Ghanteswar Bag, Rasu Dhara, Gora Hudut and Kesab Dhara also suffered at the hands of rampaging CPI(M) cadres on the day. Some of them had their hands were chopped off.

“Sila was Gopal’s wife and died after some years. But all those who escaped alive have cast their votes in favour of Trinamool,” said Kesab Dhara, who lost his left palm in the incident.