Centre a 'cruel government'; Gujarat will never rule Bengal, says TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee

By Express News Service
KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday described the attack on the state labour minister as a deliberate and well-planned act to eliminate a member of her cabinet. 

Calling the attack on Zakir Hossain a ‘big conspiracy’, Banerjee also alleged that there were no railway police personnel present at the station when the incident took place.

Three state agencies—Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Special Task Force (STF) and Counter Insurgency Force (CIF)—took the charge of the probe into the incident. The police, however, are yet to ascertain the reason behind the attack on Hossain.

“I have gathered information from the local people which suggests the explosion was triggered from a distance. This is a big conspiracy. It is surprising that the railway had no information that the minister would board a Kolkata-bound train from the station. The railway authorities are taking the incident lightly,’’ said Mamata after visiting Hossain in SSKM Hospital in Kolkata.   

Hossain and 25 others, who were accompanying him, were injured when crude bombs went off as soon as he arrived Nimtita railway station around 9.30 pm on Wednesday. The minister was brought to SSKM Hospital and others were admitted to healthcare units in Murshidabad district.

Doctors at SSKM Hospital said Hossain received splinter injuries on his legs and hands. “His one finger and left ankle were also badly damaged because of the impact of the explosion. A board comprising six doctors have been formed to oversee Hossain’s treatment,” a doctor said.

The chief minister announced Rs 5 lakh compensation for severely injured and Rs 1 lakh who suffered minor injuries.

BJP’s state president Dilip Ghosh described the incident as a reflection of the state’s lawlessness. “Even the ministers are not safe in the state,” he said.

State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury demanded proper probe into the incident.