K. Ramachandran, the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist Red Star) was detained by the Special Branch of Kolkata Police after he arrived in the city on Sunday afternoon.
According to reliable sources, Ramachandran was picked up from the Kolkata station immediately after he arrived. He was initially kept at the Lord Sinha Road office of the Special Branch on Sunday but was moved to an undisclosed location on Monday evening. He was not kept in the lock up and was being treated well, the sources claimed.
Red Star is leading the ongoing farmers’ agitation against land acquisition at Bhangore in West Bengal.
In a statement, the Red Star said Ramachandran was to lead a central delegation of the party to Bhangore. It alleged that the police was behind the disappearance of the party leader. The 80-year-old Ramachandran, a native of Thalayolaparambu in Kottayam, was an engineer in the Indian army.
“Mr. Ramachandran was scheduled to lead a Central delegation of our party to Bhangar and meet the family members of the two locals who were killed in police firing. In a bid to prevent the issue gaining prominence at the national level, we suspect that the State police had kidnapped him,” Pradeep Singh Thakur, State general secretary of the party said.
Thakur said that despite being repeatedly asked to track the tower location of Ramachandran, the Kolkata Police did not take any action.
The development comes at a time when the State government is suspecting that Naxalites are fuelling the agitation at Bhangar. It has lodged FIR’s against several leaders of CPIML (Red Star) who are involved with the agitation.
Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Crime) Vishal Garg said that he was “unaware of the matter.”
Simmering farmers’ anger against acquisition of land for a power grid and at least three housing complexes at Bhangore turned violent last week after police arrested two activists. Police vehicles were set on fire and two locals died of bullet injuries.
Since then the villagers have not allowed any ruling Trinamool Congress leader to enter the area. The Mamata Banerjee government has asked the police to arrest the leaders of the agitation under, but the police have still not been able to enter the villages.