Very fishy business this: Kulipara residents pay more than they bargained for

Political parties, allegedly giving shelter to criminals, and police inaction have made lives of the people in bheri areas off Salt Lake miserable.
The fishermen and the bheri-owners, across the party lines, have to pay anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 to the goons who allegedly control the local bheris. And if anybody dares refuse to pay up, they are either beaten up or worse still, all the fish from the ponds are stolen!
Mr Gopal Mondal, son of a fisherman in Kulipara, said that musclemen in the area collect commission or tola from the bheri-owners. “My father is a CPI-M supporter but even we have to pay the commission. If we refuse, either all the fish from our pond would be stolen or they would beat us up,” he said.
Mrs Durga Mondal and her son are neighbours of Kabla Mondal, another CPI-M heavyweight whose house was burnt by Trinamul supporters in the recent clashes. She said even after years of oppression, they have not left the CPI-M as they are scared. “Even though I am Kabla’s aunt, I am not spared. My son works in Sector V. He has to pay Rs 100 just to avail of the road from here to Sector V,” she added. Mrs Ila Nandi, however, said that nobody has ever told her about this.
The only Puja organised in the Ward is mainly by CPI-M supporters. Mrs Ila Nandi, local CPI-M councillor had held a meeting before the Pujas in which she had fixed the chanda at Rs 60. But according to locals, party workers allegedly collected Rs 100 or more from them.
Mrs Sharmistha Mondal said on the night of the clash, when she rushed to the Kulipara police camp, the policemen beat her up.
“The CPI-M goons had been supplying alcohol and mutton to the policemen on Dashami night,” she added.
The policemen, specially deputed in the area after the clashes, were seen having lunch at the house of Oshtho Mondol, another prominent CPI-M supporter in Kulipara.
Meanwhile, a few rounds were fired even today after Trinamul leaders ~ Mrs Partha Chatterjee and Mrs Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar ~ held a rally from Choinabi to Kulipara. Mr Partha Chatterjee, in the gathering of more than 1,000 people, gave a 48-hours deadline to the CPI-M to hand over Madan and Prafulla Mondal to police. 

Soma Basu

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