Millennium Post

Panchayat violence: intellectuals criticise TMC, admn, police

Kolkata: A section of intellectuals today castigated the ruling Trinamool Congress, the administration and the police, claiming that they have remained "silent spectators" while widespread violence is taking place in West Bengal during filing of nominations for next month's panchayat elections in the state.
Former state advocate general Bimal Chatterjee said unleashing of violence to ensure a walkover in the panchayat elections is nothing but incapacitation of democracy.
"Villagers are being subjected to violence and harassment. The leadership of the ruling party, the administration and the police are silent spectators," social activist Miratun Nahar said at a press conference called by the intellectuals from various fields to protest incidents of attacks on opposition candidates and supporters.
Stating that several of these intellectuals had stood up against violence against the people of Nandigram during the anti-land acquisition movement in 2007 against the then Left Front government in the state, theatre personality Bivas Chakraborty claimed that they are apolitical and have protested against any undemocratic activity.
He expressed apprehension as to what will happen during the three-phase elections in the first week of May, if so much violence is perpetrated during the nomination process.
"It is very painful when those whom we had supported act like those who they have replaced and resort to undemocratic means to win elections," said singer Pratul Mukhopadhyay.
He said domination is ultimately not good for those who are perpetrating such acts, and these acts are more harmful for the perpetrators than those they are trying to dominate.
"Ensuring a walkover by those in power in the state by preventing the opposition from filing nomination is not good.
It amounts to incapacitation of democracy," Chatterjee, who had been appointed advocate general by the present dispensation in the state and had resigned later, said.
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