In a recent development with potentially far-reaching consequences, the police in Belonia have arrested Manik Das, known as ‘Kala Manik,’ for allegedly vandalizing the house of a rival BJP youth leader, Jaideep Saha. The incident arose from a clash between two rival BJP groups in the town, causing distress among local residents. The tension stemmed from ‘Kala Manik’ and his gang hiring an Ananda Mela party from outside the state to perform in the town based on a signed contract. However, Jaideep Saha’s group, a rival BJP faction, objected to the event, leading to a conflict between the two groups.
Frustrated with the alleged extortion activities of Jaideep Saha’s group, ‘Kala Manik’ and his followers retaliated by invading Jaideep’s residence in the Madhyapara area, completely vandalizing and ransacking it on Monday. Jaideep, being a member of the local ‘Mandal,’ lodged a complaint with the Belonia police, accusing ‘Kala Manik’ and his associates of attacking their house.
Unusually, the police, who generally avoid intervening in such cases, received instructions from higher authorities, possibly political, to take action. Consequently, ‘Kala Manik’ was arrested for the vandalism at Jaideep Saha’s house. However, no action was taken against Jaideep Saha for his alleged extortion activities. ‘Kala Manik’ was presented in court today, but due to falling ill, a doctor was summoned to examine him. Based on the doctor’s assessment, the magistrate granted bail to ‘Kala Manik.’
Nevertheless, sources suggest that today’s arrest is indicative of internal conflicts within the ruling BJP, as ‘Kala Manik’ purportedly enjoys the support of a dissident group, while Jaideep Saha is backed by others. Reports from Belonia indicate that after suppressing the opposition CPI(M), the local BJP has become embroiled in bitter factional disputes over the distribution of illegal gains and extortion. Over the past five years, Belonia has become a hotbed of drug peddling and extortion. Previously, CPI(M) supporters were the primary victims, but now, BJP workers and supporters themselves are fighting over the spoils of illegal activities.
Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha and the top BJP leadership have taken a strong stance against the lawlessness created by a faction of mafia elements within the party. The chief minister has reportedly warned the police to take appropriate action against all criminal activities.