CPI-ML (Red Star) General Secretary KN Ramachandran has been missing in West Bengal since Sunday. The veteran Naxalite leader who was travelling from Lucknow had arrived at the Kolkata railway station on Sunday evening and has been unreachable then after.
He was scheduled to lead a central delegation of his party to Bhangar where CPI-ML (Red Star) cadres have been supporting the farmers’ agitation against a power grid project in the area.
According to the party, Ramachandran had last spoken to his fellow comrades on Sunday evening soon after his train had reached Howrah station. However, he couldn’t be traced thereafter which triggering immense hysteria among party men. Although the party’s Bengal unit has filed a missing diary with the Ultadanga police station in Kolkata on Monday but police response has been extremely passive.
“All attempts to contact comrade K N Ramachandran over his mobile phone are in vain. Comrade travelled from Lucknow to Howrah to declare solidarity with the people and the CPI (ML) Red Star comrades who are heroically resisting super imposition of a power grid by Mamata Government at Bhangar in South 24 Parganas district of W. Bengal,” the party said in a statement.
On Monday, the Central Committee of CPI-ML (Red Star) issued a statement directly accusing the Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal government for Ramachandran’s mysterious disappearance.
“We suspect the involvement of Mamata’s notorious Special Police in comrade’s missing. We demand the Mamata Govt. to unconditionally produce Com KN Ramachandran immediately,” the statement said.
Last week, violent protests had erupted in South 24 Pargana’s Bhangar against a power grid project. Two villagers had been killed in firing during the violent clash between police and villagers. However, the state government has blamed the violence on “outsiders” claiming that it’s the handiwork of the Maoists instead of the police.
The Bhangar agitation is being spearheaded by the local Jomi, Jibika, Poribesh O Bastutantra Raksha Committee (Committee to Protect Land, Livelihood, Environment and Ecosystem) backed by the CPI-ML (Red Star) with alleged support from students from Kolkata’s Jadavpur University.