KOLKATA, 26 APRIL: A quick foooted CPI-M has allegedly started screening a documentary to counter the one by Rajarhat Jomi Bachao Committee, ‘Oder Jomite Amader Nogori’, on forcible acquisition of land in Rajarhat.
The documentary portraying the plight of landlosers fanned controversies after its alleged bann by the district administration and detention and release of the committee’s secretary, Mr Nilotpal Datta, during one of the screenings last Thursday. He was released after the police van and a constable was gheraoed by locals.
By the time the ban was imposed, several screenings have already been made at various mouzas in Rajarhat-Newtown. In a desperate attempt to salvage the losing vote bank in the constituency, the CPI-M has allegedly come out with a documentary that claims just the opposite of what the committee alleged.
A viewer in Methopara, where it was screened, said that the documentary of one-hour duration showed some farmers praising the Left Front government for the development in the area. “It was apparent that the people shown were not farmers but actors who said that they had given up land willingly and were happy with the mushrooming high-rises there,” said Ashok Naskar, a resident of Methopara and a displaced farmer.
Interestingly, the documentary did not roll credits at the end even though it iterated the CPI-M manifesto. Neither Mr Sabyasachi Dutta, the Trinamul candidate from the Rajarhat Newtown Assembly constituency, nor Mr Tapas Chatterjee, the CPI-M candidate, responded to phone calls. The local CPI-M MLA, Mr Rabin Mondal, refused to claim responsibility for screening the documentary.
After only two screenings at Methopara and Hatiara mouza on Sunday, the police stopped it after receiving complaints from several people, one of them being Mr Nilotpal Datta.
Mr Datta, who feels that it is only natural for the party not to claim responsibility for making the documentary, said: “About our documentary, the administration itself was in doubt over the ban. The DM and the SP of North 24-Parganas refused to give permission for the screening while the ADM (general) sent me a mail telling me that I could not produce any documentary evidence till today about the DM having banned its screening. It was clearly done on behest of the CPI-M leaders.”
The local CPI-M goons are now threatening a college student who was contacted by some media men about the movie screening by the CPI-M. “Some CPI-M supporters visited my house and threatened me with dire consequences for calling the media. They think I had informed police because of whom the screening was stopped,” he added.