Jakir Hossain was being pressured to join another party, alleges Mamata Banerjee; calls bomb attack a conspiracy

The Bengal CM also criticised the Railways for denying responsibility over 'security lapses' and announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for those seriously injured the blast

Press Trust of India February 18, 2021 13:22:23 IST
Jakir Hossain was being pressured to join another party, alleges Mamata Banerjee; calls bomb attack a conspiracy

File image of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday alleged the bomb attack on state minister Jakir Hossain was part of a conspiracy as certain people were (sic) "pressuring" him to switch over to another party.

Banerjee, who went to the SSKM hospital to inquire after his condition following Wednesday's incident, slammed the Railways for its "lacklustre" way of functioning.

"It was a preplanned attack on minister Jakir Hossain. Some people have claimed the blast was remote-controlled. It is a conspiracy. Some people (party) were pressuring Jakir Hossain to join them for the last few months. I don't want to disclose anything more as investigation is on," Banerjee told reporters.

The attackers apparently knew about Hossain's movement and must have been tailing him, she said.

Banerjee said not just the CID, but state STF and Counter Insurgency Force (CIF) will assist in the probe.

The chief minister announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for those seriously injured in the explosion and Rs one lakh for people who received minor injuries.

"How can the railways deny their responsibility over security lapses when the attack happened at a railway station? There were no security personnel at the station at the time of the attack. There was no light, it was completely dark. What was the railway police doing?" she asked.

The Railways should cooperate in the investigation, she said.

"A railway station is a railway property. The railway police is in charge of its security. It is not under our jurisdiction," she said.

Banerjee said a total of 26 people were injured in the blast.

The state government has handed over the probe in the case to the CID.

Banerjee refuted the Opposition's claim of worsening law and order situation, saying the incident took place inside a
railway station, premises that belong to the Centre.

The BJP leadership, meanwhile, slammed Banerjee for trying to divert public attention from the failures of the state government.

"The incident proves that law and order has ceased to exist. Does the Railways run the state? Such theories won't help. She has failed both as state home minister and the chief minister," state BJP vice president Jaiprakash Majumdar said.

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