Durgapur, April 24:
Series of huts were ransacked, set ablaze in retaliation and a number of tribal were severely wounded early this morning after the recovery of the body of a CPI-M supporter in this small village near Durgapur town. Suleman Sk (50), the CPI-M man was hacked to death while sneaking in to the hut of a tribal woman in the outskirts of the village under Kanksa PS area. He was throttled. The police have arrested eight persons and a paroling camp has been deputed and senior policemen had reached the village to control the situation.
The murder, according to the district police was fallout of an illicit affair between the deceased and a tribal woman Sumi Hembram who was deserted by her husband some three years ago due to the extra marital affair. The tribal community led by its leader Gopal Majhi had ordered both the woman and the deceased not to continue the affair any longer. As stated Kamala Tudu, sister of Sumi, ‘the community organized four tribal courts and ordered a Futwa that they should not mix up further. They were cautioned repeatedly but they kept a deaf ear to that.’ She said, ‘he was declared an intruder and the matter was informed to the local party leaders too.’ The scared women weeping curled up under a banyan tree in the village complained, ‘hundreds of kin and cadres of Suleman armed with lathi, rod and axe in hand raided the area early this morning. They stormed the huts and beat up the women brutally and hounded the male from the area and even the children were not spared.’
The mayhem continued for more than two hours and Gopal, a CPI-M backed tribal leader was dragged out of his hut this morning. He was severely injured at his forehead, limbs and chest by the irate mass. Women like Churki Baske, Kamala Tudu too were wounded and molested. The CPI-M and the police meanwhile claimed that there was no political motivation and lapses from the party end. Mr Debtosh Banerjee, local committee secretary of the CPI-M said, ‘the affair was well known to everyone in the area. The deceased was cautioned too but it took a fatal turn as they went beyond control. Both were CPI-M supporters.’ He also hinted, ‘an MCC activist Karak Murmu somehow got harboured in the village and used to create disturbance very often. He too might have taken lead in killing Suleman.’ Karok’s hut too was torched. The CPI-M claimed that Karok’s name was included in active MCC list after he had attacked Budhi Soren, a local committee leader. Mr Banerjee said, ‘during 2001 assembly election he had attacked our man Budhi.’ Karok’s hut was also torched.
The district police meanwhile declined to accept that Karok was an MCC activist. Mr Sunil Halder, ASP, Durgapur said, ‘we are yet to ascertain any political link with the murder. We have detained the persons who led the post murder mayhem. None involved with the murder could however be taken in to custody. They all have fled the area.’ The police has detained eight villagers including Habibul, son of the deceased. Moru Biwi, mother of the deceased alleged, ‘I was quite surprised that the policemen arrested the son who’s father was murdered. I appealed to spare him but they did not listen to me.’ Two minor boys Sk Firoz and Sk Piaru also were taken in to custody. A hopeless Maleka Biwi, widow of Suleman broke in to tears and said, ‘I had cautioned him not to maintain the affair but he was one eyed and used to abuse me. Now his death fetched ill fate for the entire village.’ The widow was offered white Sari this afternoon when the body of Suleman reached village after the post mortem in front of the local club that was set up by Suleman himself in 1992.