Twenty Four hour Ramnagar bandh tomorrow to protest extortion in border and attempt to attack Surajit Dutta, MLA

By Our Correspondent

Agartala January 11,2019 : Aggressive extortion drive by politically patronaged elements in the border area at Akhaura checkpost is creating an explosive situation with supporters owing allegiance to MLA Surajit Dutta calling a twenty hour Ramnagar bandh tomorrow to protest the attempted attack on his house. During the past ten months the storm troopers of an official faction of ruling party have been extorting money from businessmen engaged in export-import business but the situation has been going from bad to worse with the extortionist demands growing in intensity by the day . Interestingly , the extortionists have set up an office beside the Akhaura road under the bizarre banner of 'Indo-Bangla Export Import Traders Sangh'.

According to police sources , a group of extortionist ruling party activists owing allegiance to a powerful official faction had gone to the border Gol Chakkar and furnished a list of coal importers who would be allowed to bring in coal at protection payment rate of Rs 200.00 per ton or Rs 4000.00 per vehicle . The other group which has always been moderate in the matter strongly opposed this and there was a minor scuffle. The extorters owing allegiance to the powerful official faction were led by Tapas Ghose, owner of 'Sukh Shanti' sweet shop in 'Durga Chowmuhuni' and his lieutenant , former LCM of CPI (M) and now BJP convert Mihir Sarkar who is also a member of board directors of TIDC. 
In the face of opposition from traditional and moderate elements owing allegiance to MLA Surajit Dutta, the group enjoying patronage of powerful ruling party faction retreated but the lingering effect led to an attack on the 'Sukh Shanti' sweet shop in 'Durga Chowmuhuni' and beat up Tapas Ghose's younger brother Prantosh Ghose and another youth Tapan Malakar besides ransacking the shop. Tapas Ghose escaped unhurt as he was absent . As a result an indefinite bandh of 'Durga Chowmuhuni'market was declared by Tapas Ghose who is also the secretary of the 'Bazar (market) committee'. 
But the matter did not end there as a large group of supporters of Tapas Ghose rushed to the front side of the residence of MLA Surajit Dutta and started abusing him besides trying to storm into his house. They also tried to physically manhandle Surajit Dutta. But a large group of Surajit Dutta's supporters resisted the attempt to attack the house and there was a protracted scuffle involving rival supporters. Police sources said that the trouble had ended within a short while but Prantosh Ghose, injured brother of Tapas Ghose, had filed a FIR naming more than twenty persons as attackers on his shop and for beating him. But MLA Surajit Dutta did not file any complaint.

The Ramnagar MLA Surajit Dutta is reported to have informed the chief minister Biplab kumar Deb of all that happened today ,blaming Ramnagar 'Mandal' president Samarendra Deb for provoking the trouble. He also held Tapas Ghose and Khokan Bhowmik responsible for leading the trouble .  In an interview with a local TV channel Surajit Dutta said that 'Mandal' president Samarendra Deb was orchestrating the extortion drive from behind while BJP general secretary Pratima Bhowmik was indulging Samarendra Deb. In the campaign for 'bandh' Surajit Dutta's supporters blamed Samarendra Deb , Pratima Bhowmik , Tapas Ghose , Ranju Ghose , Khokan Bhowmik, Mihir Sarkar  et al for the trouble . Surajit Dutta also alleged that there was an attempt to attack him even yesterday.   


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