Key accused in attack on Mamata acquitted after 29 yrs

Key accused in attack on Mamata acquitted after 29 yrs

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

A key accused in a case of attempt to murder on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was acquitted by a city court on Thursday 29 years after the incident took place at the Hazra area of Kolkata. The accused Lalu Alam was acquitted after the state government counsel argued that there is not much left in the case and continuing the case will be a waste of time and money.

“ Nothing much is left in the case as some of those who were named in the charge sheet have died and some others are absconding. Continuing with the case would have been a waste of time and money,” said the state government lawyer Radhakanta Mukherjee.

He also said that Alam was acquitted as there was lack of evidence against him and most of the witnesses have either died or were unable to depose before the court.

“ Alam was acquitted by the court under Section 232 of the IPC,” said Mukherjee. He also said that on August 21, 2019, it was decided that Banerjee would depose before the court via video conference but it did not take place due to lack of arrangements for video conferencing.

As for Alam(62), who was a member of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of the CPI (M) at the time of the incident he said that he was happy with the verdict. He admitted that he was afraid that now Banerjee has become the Chief Minister. Currently, Alam is not associated with CPI(M), party sources said.

“ I am definitely feeling relieved. Ye, no doubt I was afraid as she (Banerjee) has become the Chief Minister. It would have been better if this happened in 2011(when Banerjee became the Chief Minister) Then I would have been able to focus on my work more,” said Alam. He now runs a business in the city.

The attack on Banerjee took place on August 16, 1990, when she was the state president of the Youth Congress.

Soon after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) came to power in 2011 Banerjee recounted the incident in an interview to a private news channel.

“That day my mother asked me not to leave home. When we are holding rally (At Hazra) suddenly there was a commotion. First I thought police was assaulting us those people were wearing helmets and they were carrying batons like police…” said Banerjee.

“Then suddenly I was hit with a thick stick. Even as I started to bleed profusely but I did not become nervous and did not feel any pain. Then I was hit for the second time and I started bleeding from another side (of my head). When they were about to hot me for the third time I sat down covering my head with my hands. The third blow smashed my hand and narrowly missed my brain,” she added.