Kanti Ganguly to depose before Judicial Commission
The Amitava Lala Commission has been probing the incident, which involved mass killings more than two decades ago. The division bench of Justice Dipankar Dutta instructed Ganguly, an accused in the incident, to appear before the commission on Tuesday.
On April 30, 1982, sixteen monks and a nun belonging to the socio-spiritual organisation Ananda Marga, on their way to Tiljala to attend a programme, were dragged out of their taxis on Bijan Setu. They were then beaten to death and later set on fire in broad day light. The 17 victims were killed by a frenzied mob at three places in South Calcutta, on the suspicion that they were kidnappers. Ananda Marga blamed the attack on the CPI(M). The party, however, claimed that none of their party members were involved in the incident.
Some of the depositions before the Justice Amitava Lala Judicial Commission – set up by the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in October 2013 – and the collection of new evidence have created a speculation that some important CPI(M) leaders might have been involved in the incident.
It was learnt that some documents allegedly showed that important CPI(M) leaders of the Kasba-Jadavpur area met at Colony Bazar in Picnic Garden on February 6, 1982, to discuss the Ananda Margis. Some had alleged that Kanti Ganguly, a minister in the last Left Front cabinet was present at the meeting.
Ananda Marga is a spiritual-religious sect, whose late founder Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar propounded the Progressive Utilisation Theory in 1959. The theory reportedly opposed both Communism and Capitalism. Ananda Margis were ideologically opposed to the Communists, and the CPI(M) of the early 1980s was deeply suspicious of their activities.
The first attack on the Marga took place at its Purulia global headquarters in 1967, in which five Margis were murdered, allegedly by CPI(M) cadres.