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Apr 11, 2013 at 06:56pm IST

SFI protests: Karat writes to President against WB Governor's comments

Kolkata: CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat on Thursday wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee objecting to the comments by West Bengal Governor condemning the suspected SFI attack on Trinamool Congress leader Amit Mitra and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Governor MK Narayanan had issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the Left must apologise to the Chief Minister for the attack.

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Meanwhile, the staff and students of Presidency University in Kolkata submitted a memorandum to the Governor. The college was attacked by suspected TMC cadres after the SFI heckling incident in Delhi in which both Mamata and Mitra were hurt.

While Mamata called for peaceful protests, violence continued unabated across West Bengal.

ALSO SEE Full text: Prakash Karat's letter to President against WB Governor

In Darjeeling, the police arrested two Left leaders following clashes between workers of the party and the TMC. The Left Front called for a 12-hour bandh in protest. While the two Left leaders have now been released, 52 protesters are still in custody and are expected to be produced in court on Thursday.

Over 30 people were injured in the violence and the police had to resort to lathicharge to control the mob.

ALSO SEE Kolkata: Presidency University students, teachers submit memorandum to Governor

Full text of Karat's letter to President

Dear Shri Pranab Mukherjee,

I am writing to you regarding the statement issued by the Governor of West Bengal, Shri MK Narayanan on April 10, 2013 regarding the incident outside the Planning Commission of India involving the Chief Minister and Finance Minister of West Bengal.

On the occasion of the Chief Minister of West Bengal visiting the Planning Commission on April 9, there was a demonstration organised by a number of organisations, including the CPI(M), to protest against the attitude of the West Bengal government towards the custodial death of SFI leader Sudipta Gupta in Kolkata. In the course of this peaceful demonstration in the presence of the police, an untoward incident occurred with the Finance Minister Amit Mitra. As soon as this happened, the CPI(M) and the organizers disapproved of this conduct and condemned it. The Polit Bureau of our Party also announced that it will look into how this happened.

But unfortunately, the West Bengal Governor issued a statement which is unwarranted and does not behove the post of the Governor of a state. One can understand the Governor condemning the incident. But Shri Narayanan has gone much beyond that and called it a "shocking pre-meditated assault on the Chief Minister, the Finance Minister and other senior ministers of West Bengal". He has gone further to state that, "This kind of attack is unprecedented in India's modern history" and declared that "Those responsible for the attack and their instigators have forfeited their right to function within a democratic framework". He has also demanded a "public apology by the Politburo of the CPI(Marxist)".

The full text of the statement is attached for your perusal.

How is it that Shri Narayanan sitting in Raj Bhawan in Kolkata has come to the unfounded and totally baseless conclusion that there was a pre-meditated assault on the Chief Minister, the Finance Minister and others? In fact, the entire visual media showed how the Chief Minister entered and left the Yojana Bhawan without any hindrance. It is highly improper for the Governor of a state, who holds a Constitutional post, to declare that a political party or leaders have "forfeited their right to function within a democratic framework".

All over the state of West Bengal, there are widespread attacks going on against the CPI(M) and the Left Parties offices, leaders and cadres. The Governor's statement has only encouraged these elements.

As President of India, it is for you to decide whether such political interventions by the Governor are justified.

I hope you will study the statement and advise the Governor, who is your representative, accordingly.

With regards,

Yours sincerely


(Prakash Karat)

General Secretary