‘Planned Attempt To Kill’, Says Mamata on TMC Minister Bomb Attack
TMC Minister Jakir Hossain was attacked with crude bombs at a railway station in Murshidabad on 17 February.
The West Bengal Police on Thursday, 18 February, constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the bomb blast at Nimtita Railway Station on Wednesday in which state minister Jakir Hossain was injured.
The SIT was constituted under Anuj Sharma, ADG, soon after the CID took over the case.
Earlier, bomb squads and forensic teams also reached the Nimtita railway station in Bengal's Murshidabad, where the incident took place.
On 17 February, at around 9.45pm, Hossain and his entourage were attacked with crude bombs by unidentified miscreants. While Hossain and 14 others in critical condition have been admitted to SSKM Hospital in Kolkata, others have been admitted to the Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital.
‘Planned Attack on Railway Premises’: Mamata
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the Minister at Kolkata's SSKM Hospital on 18 February. Home Minister Amit Shah, in his visit to Kolkata, also condemned the attack on the minister, in an address at Kolkata's Bharat Sevashram Sangha.
Shah is on a one-and-a-half-day visit to the state.
Speaking to reporters at SSKM, Banerjee said that, prima facie, the attack seemed "planned".
"Jakir is seriously injured. A total of 26 people have been injured. At the time of the blast there were no railway police present at the station and it was completely dark. It's a Railway property and they are taking the incident casually. It's a conspiracy. We want the truth to come out," said Banerjee.
"Some patients have lost hands and legs. It is difficult to look at them, but I mustered courage and managed. Once they are better, we will arrange for prosthetic arms and legs for them," the Chief Minister added.
She further announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for those seriously injured and Rs 1 lakh for those with minor injuries.
Speaking on the investigation, Banerjee said that three state investigative agencies – the CID, the CIF and the STF – were on the job.
"It is entirely the Central government's property where this happened. It is a game plan to kill a very popular leader. It is sad that in a democracy, they are targeting and killing leaders," she said, further attacking the BJP-led Central government.
The Railways has responded to the chief minister's allegation.
"Indian Railways condemns the incident. Relief & rescue measures were immediately initiated by Railways. The injured were rushed by RPF & other Railway authorities to hospitals. It may be noted that law and order is a state subject and the state police is fully responsible for it," the Railways said in a statement.
"Law and order on Railway platforms is also under the purview of Government Resource Planning (GRP) of the state government," the statement added.
‘Hossain Is Stable, Undergoing Surgery’: Hospital
Supporters of Hossain and members of the Trinamool Congress sat in protest in Raghunathganj, of which Nimtita is a part, blocking National Highway 34.
An MLA from Trinamool Congress, Hossain was earlier with the Congress before contesting on a Trinamool ticket in 2016.
A minister of state for Labour, he was rushed to a sub-divisional hospital in Jangipur, after which he was referred to Murshidabad College and Hospital. He was finally taken to Kolkata's SSKM Hospital on the morning of 18 February.
Hossain has sustained several critical injuries, mainly on his left side and legs, say hospital sources, but his condition is now stable. He will be undergoing a surgery.
Opposition Alleges TMC Factionalism, Breakdown of Law & Order
Local sources say that Hossain may have been targetted for his opposition to rampant cow smuggling in the district.
Governor of West Bengal, Jagdeep Dhankhar, condemned the attack on Twitter.
"Attack on WB Minister Jakir Hossain at Nimtita railway station, Murshidabad, reprehensible. Concerned at increasing rise in violence that has no place in democracy. Time @WBPolice @HomeBengal administration @MamataOfficial to act fast as per law," Dhankhar tweeted.
Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Piyush Goyal tweeted about the incident too.
"I condemn the attack on Jakir Hosaain. The perpetrators must be arrested and punished. He is one-of-a-kind in the Trinamool. He worked hard and used his intelligence to become a successful industrialist, a friend of the people. He won and became a legislator on the back of his own popularity," said Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
Chowdhury also pointed towards the fact that the attack may have been orchestrated by the Trinamool.
"The Trinamool doesn't like politics of honesty. He was honest that's why he was attacked. Jakir is the ‘Prahlad’ in the demon world of the Trinamool," Chowdhury wrote in a Facebook post.
West Bengal is set to go to polls in April-May this year, in what looks to be a contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
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