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Assaulted CPI leader battling for life

Sushanta Talukdar

“Constable attacked him”

Guwahati: A senior State leader of the Communist Party of India, Manoj Deka, is battling for his life in a private hospital here after he was beaten up allegedly by a police constable. He sustained critical head injuries.

The incident was a sequel to Mr. Deka, 54, protesting against alleged police excesses on innocent people during search operations to apprehend militants in central Assam’s Morigaon district. He was assaulted when he was returning home from a market on Tuesday night.

CPI leader Munin Mahanta told The Hindu that Mr. Deka was put on life support after his condition deteriorated on Wednesday night. He said the incident was “a political conspiracy to eliminate” Mr. Deka and demanded a probe by a sitting judge of the Gauhati High Court. A first information report was lodged at the Morigaon police station. “Though the accused constable was stated to have been placed under suspension and arrested, we have been demanding that Officer-in-Charge Kamal Bora be not spared as he was a mute spectator to the brutalities. We suspect conspiracy as Mr. Deka was singled out and no one else was searched.”

Mr. Mahanta said a 12-hour Morigaon district bandh had been called to protest the “police excesses” on Mr. Deka.

Other political parties and organisations in the district also took to the streets, and mobs torched a police point in the headquarters town. The All-India Students Federation and the All-India Youth Federation have moved the Assam Human Rights Commission for a probe.

Protest march

A protest march was taken out by four Left parties here on Wednesday. A meeting convened by the CPI condemned the attack and demanded exemplary punishment to the guilty police personnel.

The Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti, the Asom Gana Parishad and the AGP (Progressive) also condemned “police atrocities” on Mr. Deka and innocent people.

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