Kolkata, Oct 28:
Cracking the whip after intra-party factional clashes that left two dead in South Parganas district, West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress Tuesday expelled its controversial leader Arabul Islam for six years.
Announcing the decision, Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee told media persons that the stern disciplinary action showed that people accused of murder had no place in the party.
“The matter was discussed by members of the party disciplinary committee. We have decided to expel former MLA (legislator) of Bhangar Arabul Islam and another functionary Jahangir Khan for six years.
“Trinamool is not like CPM (Communist Party of India-Marxist) where murderers are treated as party’s assets. Trinamool is not BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) where people accused of murder can become the president,” he said.
Arabul, strongman of the Bhangar area in the district, got the stick from the party after Saturday’s clash that allegedly took place over control of a local panchayat in the district.
The Deota village panchayat – a Trinamool stronghold and run by the party – had been the scene of fierce clashes that led to calls for “strong action” against Arabul, now president of the Bhangar panchayat samiti.
Last year, Arabul had to spent nearly one and half month in jail on charges of attempted murder and arson for assaulting then CPI-M lawmaker Abdur Rezzak Mollah and other members of the Marxist party.
In 2012, Arabul was accused of flinging a water-filled jug at a woman professor of Bhangar College after an altercation, and he had to seek bail.
But the party leadership stood by him, and Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee held a media meet at the state secretariat where he attempted to show the professor in poor light.