Grocery sellers for neighbourhood, arms dealers for cops

Relatives

Chairman of Borough 15 and councillor of ward 134 Md Iqbal alias Munna, who was in the eye of storm after yesterday's incident of violence, admitted that criminal activities were prevalent in the area.

He added that it was created in the CPM era and had been brought under control by the present government.

"Drugs and arms and ammunition dealing is down to 20 per cent of what it used to be during the time of CPM, which has created several antisocials in Muslim belts of the city. They lured these youths who hail from very poor families and exploited them. The present government is on a reform drive. The main person behind these criminal activities here is CPM district chairman Dilip Sen," Iqbal said.

Iqbal agreed that Bat Tala is a favourite hangout of these dealers because it is a backward area and not frequented by people. Police, too, take some time to reach there.

The councillor met Trinamool heavyweight and local MLA Firhad Hakim this afternoon. While he was leaving, Hakim told the Indian Express, "The person who was injured in the gunfire yesterday is one of our boys, He is admitted in CMRI. Now if the assailant is of TMC as well, as it is alleged, why would he shoot someone of the same party?"

Regarding Md Ibne Saud and SK Sovan, who were seen beside him in the TV footage and who have been arrested, Hakim said, "Ibne had been with us for some time but we never thought he would resort to such violence. He was mainly into social service. We were shocked ourselves. As far as Sovan is concerned, he doesn't belong to our party. We are public figures and people can stand beside us to appear in photographs. Does that mean we are associated with everyone?" he asked.

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