Sheikh Muhammad Abu Siddique, resident of village Gangulidanga, Srikhanda, Katwa in Dist: Burdwan, also a teacher of English in Kadampukur Senior High Madrasa, is a freeman these days. Well, every Indian remains free till the moment he/she is taken into custody or convicted but the case of this middle-aged teacher is barely credible. On last Tuesday he was arrested along with his brother Areshed Nabi (quack by profession) for keeping illegal arms in own residence.
But local political backing (including sudden CPIM-TMC bonhomie) for him proved to be overwhelming for police and Abu Siddique was released on the next day. However, his brother is still behind bars.
Abu Siddique is known to be a Leftist teacher, leader in the environs and is also member of Srikhanda-2 branch of CPIM. Nevertheless, even if the local panchayat is still under aegis of Congress, TMC (Trinamool Congress), following the recent landslide, is flexing its muscles here and is also drawing CPIM members more and more.
Getting a tip, local police entered residence of Abu Siddique at dead night on Tuesday and unearthed an arms consignment having 8 bombs and 1 musket (muzzle-loading shoulder gun with a long barrel). Both the teacher and his brother were arrested accordingly but little could administration imagine what this would lead to.
On Wednesday, to release the teacher, students of Kadampukur Senior High Madrasa blockaded Burdwan-Katwa road from 7 am. And this approach was heightened by the enthusiastic support of lots of people of Gangulidanga. This was followed by the entering of CPIM and TMC cadres into the scene and soon transport system to Burdwan, Katwa, Bolpur, Guskara became out of gear.
When police advanced to disperse the unruly mob at 10 am, it was stated that the teacher had become part of a conspiracy. Apprehending that the situation might get worse police called the protesters for a discussion. Teachers of Kadampukur Senior High Madrasa and local Child Care Educational Institute along with 150 students as a minimum hired a bus and went to the police station right away. Both CPIM and TMC leaders followed them.
Muhammad Jakiruddin, Superintendent of Senior High Madrasa, stated overtly, “Miscreants demanded money from Abu Siddique and due to his denial to pay, he was made a victim.” Kamal Tagore, member of CPIM Katwa Zonal Committee, did not incriminate anyone directly (to remain safe) but stated, “Our teacher-leader has been victimized for political reasons.”
Kanchan Mukherjee, vice-president of TMC Burdwan district committee, said, “Abu Siddique may well be a CPIM activist. But we protested since he was arrested fallaciously.”
A marathon meting, led by SDPO (Katwa) Jyotirmoy Roy, occurred consequently on the same day, to find out a strong and satisfactory solution. After long hours and getting a written assurance to render all possible helps to police investigation from him, Abu Siddique was finally released.
However, his brother Areshed Nabi is languishing in jail still.
Last but not least, there is a question. Would CPIM and TMC have acted similarly in case of any Hindu teacher?