Arabul son, supporters hit streets

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Bhangar Police question TMC strongman but yet to arrest his associates.

Even as police questioned Trinamool Congress strongman from Bhangar Arabul Islam at Sonarpur police station, a day after he was arrested and sent to four days in police custody for allegedly attacking former CPM minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah and inciting violence, his supporters took out rallies and protest marches in the area. Roads were also blocked by his supporters to protest his arrest.

A huge rally was taken out from Bhangar College where Arabul's son, Hakibul Islam, is a powerful leader of Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad. Another rally was taken out from Kantatala area in Bhangar.

"The party has done what it thought it best. But I don't know what kind of justice is this," Hakibul told The Indian Express in his guarded response to his father's arrest, 11 days after he and his supporters allegedly attacked the CPM leader. "I would not comment whether it is justice or injustice. But I know that the people of the area are sad about the arrest," he added.

Terming the protest rallies taken out by his supporters as a "spontaneous reaction by the people of Bhangar who love and respect my father", he said: "We could not stop them from holding protest marches. We received information of blockades on several roads. The people of the area are deeply hurt by the arrest of my father."

The Trinamool supporters demanded immediate arrest of CPM zonal secretary Sattar Mollah, whom Arabul had blamed for the violence. "Sattar Mollah opened fire at me and I am being arrested," Arabul had told mediapersons on Thursday as he was being whisked out of Baruipur court.

Sattar has reportedly gone underground apprehending arrest. According to sources in the CPM, Mollah has gone underground following instructions from the party. Sujan Chakraborty, CPM district secretary of South 24-Parganas said the party knows where Sattar is. "Sattar is doing the party's work. Arabul and his people have threatened our men and we have told Sattar to be safe and alert," said Chakraborty.

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