A day after a blast at Nimtita Railway station in West Bengal injured 26 Trinamool Congress (TMC) cadre, including West Bengal minister Jakir Hossain, the Union Railways Ministry has denied any terror angle and said the incident was a result of internal feud in the party.
Hossain is being treated in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Kolkata.
A primary railway probe also pointed out that the Wednesday’s (February 17) attack could be a result of political rivalry between TMC and Communist Party of India (CPI). The West Bengal Police had lathicharged CPI cadre during a rally last week, which resulted in the death of a protester and caused tension in the locality.
On the possible feud within the TMC, it is being said that minister Hossain had approached the police in 2017 saying that two Trinamool members were giving him death threats.
On Wednesday evening, Hossain was at the Nimtita Railway station to board a train for Kolkata. The blast happened just then, injuring 26 party members, including him. About 14 of them are said to be in a serious condition.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee visited Hossain in the hospital. Banerjee called the blast a “conspiracy”, saying that Hossain was under pressure to join a party.
“I am sure it is a conspiracy. Some people (party) were pressuring Jakir Hossian to join them for the last few months. I don’t want to disclose anything more as investigation is on,” Banerjee said
The CM quoted eyewitnesses to say the the blast was done using a remote. “Prima facie, the circumstantial pieces of evidence suggest that the attack was ‘planned’ and done intentionally,” Banerjee said, adding that Railways needs to take the blame for poor security and slammed the railway authorities for taking the incident “lightly”.
“No railway police was present at the platform. There was no light at the station. The incident happened at the railway station where the state has no major role to play. It is the railways’ property. I wonder despite such a big incident, how they are taking it so lightly. It is definitely a big conspiracy,” the CM said.
Hossain was close to Suvendu Adhikari, the former Trinamool minister who joined the BJP late last year.
State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “Hossain was targeted because he was against cow smuggling and corruption. He was attacked because he had opposed people involved in these nefarious activities. West Bengal’s law and order situation is at an all-time low.”
The Bengal government declared a compensation of ₹5 lakh for the seriously injured and ₹1 lakh for people who suffered minor injuries.
The CID is looking into the matter now.
West Bengal is preparing for Assembly elections in April-May.