After SDPI, now Cong to demonstrate for AMU Murshidabad

By Zaidul Haque,,

Kolkata: The demonstration and strike by Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) for construction of AMU Murshidabad campus seem to have pushed the Congress party to take up the issue to open a front against chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Observing the support of the Muslim community to SDPI strike call over the issue on 11th July, Murshidabad Congress unit has given a call for demonstration at the district headquarters on 16th July.

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SDPI had given a call for 12-hour strike in Murshidabad on 11th July. It got success as public transport system halted for hours and shops in various towns of Murshidabad remained closed.. According to Murshidabad Police, 242 SDPI supporters were arrested while holding demonstration on the day. SDPI state Secretary Masudul Islam and Murshidabad district president Zakir Hossain were among those arrested. They were arrested in the morning but released in the afternoon.

SDPI state President Taidul Islam told TCN that people of Murshidabad responded to the strike call (Bandh), but district administration tried to suppress the call. “Our more than 250 supporter were arrested in Jangipur, Baharampur and several other towns in Murshidabad on that day. We have reached the people to tell them that AMU campus is closed down and no initiative is being taken by Government of West Bengal to start construction work,” said Islam. He warned that if the work does not begin shortly, SDPI will continue their agitation and demonstration in favor of AMU campus and may block all the roads in Murshidabad that lead to Kolkata.

Campus Front of India supporters blocked the road on the strike day, at Baharampur town in Murshidbada, on July 11, 2012

Now observing the community sentiment over the issue, Congress party, which is also ally to the state TMC-led government, has decided to take up the issue on the road. The upcoming AMU campus is located in Ahiran area of Murshidabad. The area comes under the Raghunathganj Assembly constituency and Jangipur Parliamentary constituency. Both the seats are represented by Congress.

Talking to TCN Congress MLA of Raghunathganj Md Akhruzzaman, who is close aid to ex-MP of Jangipur Pranab Mukherjee, said the party has called for a demonstration in front of Sub-divisional Office on 16th July. He said district president of Congress and MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury will lead the demonstration against the inactiveness of present State Government led by Mamata Banerjee. Mr Zaman alleged that, after several months of foundation stone being lad for AMU campus in Murshidabad by Pranab Mukherjee, state government is totally silent on construction work. Mamata Banerjee led present government is not taking any initiative to establish AMU campus in Murshidabad. So many times she has visited Darjeeling and Maoist affected areas but never visited Murshidabad after becoming Chief Minister.

SDPI Murshidabad president Zakir Hussain being detained for holding strike for AMU campus in Murshidabad on 11th July 2012

Mr Zaman asked if she solved the Hill problems in a short period, why didn’t she take interest to solve the AMU campus land problems. So many organizations have protested and demanded immediate start of the AMU campus, but the CM has not uttered a word over the issue. Isn’t Musrhidabad part of West Bengal? he asked.

SDPI activists including elder persons being pushed into police van in Murshidabad on 11th July 2012 for holding strike in the city to demand construction of AMU campus

Mr Zaman said that if construction work does not start within a certain time, he will raise the issue in the Assembly and party MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury will do it in Parliament.