Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee’s remark that the Mamata Banerjee-led government was responsible for the killing of Maoist leader Kishenji has opened up a can of worms in Bengal politics.
It evoked strong reactions from opposition parties, who have decided to target both Abhishek and his aunt, chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Human rights organisations are trying to contact Kishenji’s family members and planning to file a public interest litigation (PIL).
Kishenji was killed by joint forces under controversial circumstances in the forests of West Midnapore on November 24, 2011. The incident was hailed as a major achievement for the then newly-elected TMC government.
According to BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh, lawlessness is the hallmark of the current state government. “To justify that all is well under Mamata Banerjee, her nephew and Trinamool MP has come out with a bizarre statement that the Maoist leader was killed under Banerjee’s direction, thereby admitting a state-sponsored killing. Will Banerjee clarify whether she agrees with her nephew?” he said.
Dr Suryakanta Mishra, leader of opposition in the state assembly and CPI (M) state secretary, feels that Abhishek merely echoed what he learnt from Banerjee. “He is a child and said what he has learnt from his guardian. So there is no point in reacting,” remarked Mishra.
Senior Congress Lok Sabha member and president of WB Pradesh Congress Committee, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, was more critical. “No government can kill anyone. The government’s duty is to nab murderers and punish them as per the legal provisions of the country. Killing anyone, whoever it might be, is anti-constitution. This state government is a killer government,” he said.
He also demanded an immediate statement from Banerjee, saying the Congress was contemplating moving the court as well.
Ranjit Sur, vice president of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), said, “We are contacting Kishenji’s family members. Either they will file a case under section 302 (murder). Or we will file a PIL demanding fresh enquiry into his death by a sitting High Court judge or a retired Supreme Court judge.”