Mamata incident an 'accident, not attack', says police probe

Malini T
·16-min read

The incident that left West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hospitalised with multiple bruises and injuries was ‘not an attack but most probably an accident’, the local police’s preliminary investigation has found, said a News18 report.

The report that has been submitted to the Election Commission is not conclusive and the probe team is collecting evidence and questioning eyewitnesses. However, sources said, questions are being raised on the conduct of Banerjee’s protection details and their preparedness and handling of the crowd.

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Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee released a video message a day after she was allegedly attacked, urging people and party workers to be calm and exercise restraint. She also said she will not put her election work on hold for the injury but will have to remain wheel-chair-bound for some time. 

“It’s true that I have been injured severely yesterday. I have pain in my hand, leg. There are ligament injuries too. Yesterday, I experienced pain in my head and chest. I was offering my prayer at that time. There was such a massive push that my leg got squeezed by the car,” Mamata can be seen saying in the video. 

“Will request everyone to be calm and exercise restraint. Don’t do anything to inconvenience others. I hope to get back to my work within two to three days. I will have some problem working but I will manage. Won’t cancel my meetings. But probably I will remain in the wheelchair for some time. Please cooperate with me,” the Trinamool supremo said from the hospital.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is undergoing treatment at a state-run hospital following the alleged attack on her in Nandigram is 'stable' now, and doctors are planning to conduct a series of medical tests, including a CT scan, to assess the degree of her injury, sources at the facility said on Thursday.

Mamata had sustained multiple injuries and is in trauma after she was allegedly attacked by unidentified people from among the massive crowd that turned up to cheer for her in Nandigram after filing her nomination papers on Wednesday.

She was rushed to Kolkata and has been kept under 48 hours of observation at the SSKM Hospital in the city.

The doctors attending to her are now trying to bring the sitting-CM out of trauma to initiate further tests and examinations like ECG and diabetes for her to respond to treatment quickly.

A team of five doctors was formed to supervise her treatment and four more experts may join them to facilitate her speedy recovery.

Addressing the media, a senior doctor of the SSKM College and Hospital said, “Presently she is traumatised. She has a severe injury in her left heel and ankle bone area. There are minor soft tissue and ligament injuries. We have also found injuries on her right shoulder, right forearm and her feet, as well.”

“She is under observation for 48 hours and we will be doing a few tests today. No more updates as of now. We will be sharing her health bulletin in frequent intervals,” he added.

On Wednesday evening, Banerjee was heckled that left her injured in the East Midnapore’s Nandigram constituency Nandigram as she was entering her car after interacting with locals in Birulia Bazar.

Sudden chaos broke out around 6.28 pm as she fell down and her security guards rushed to help her get back to the seat. She informed her guards about the injuries and also the resultant chest pain.

On her way back to Kolkata, Banerjee, who was gasping for breath, told the media, “Look at my leg. There is swelling. I am feeling feverish. Please leave me alone now. I am having chest pain. Not feeling well. I want to go to Kolkata for treatment.”

“It was a planned attack on me. It was a conspiracy. The attack was planned well as there were no policemen around me. There were a couple of men in the crowd who pushed the door of my car and left me badly injured. Please allow me to go to a hospital,” she said.

She was rushed to the SSKM College and Hospital around 8.45pm in Kolkata.

One of the doctors of the medical board said, “In medical terms, she has suffered injuries in her inferior extensor retinaculum and calcaneal Achilles’ tendon, besides other injuries. We are doing whatever it is required for her treatment."

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Fact: No administration was there to protect me: Banerjee

"Some people intentionally pushed me. No administration was there to protect me. The police superintendent was also not there. They basically came here to hurt me. I have decided to return to Kolkata right now," the TMC boss said last evening.

Details: Eyewitness says no one pushed Banerjee

However, Banerjee's version of the incident was refuted by a few eyewitnesses.

Soumen Maity, who was present at the spot, told news agency ANI, that people had gathered to see the leader.

"When she was about to leave, there were people around there. But nobody pushed her. I am a student. I am not associated with any political party," Maity added.

Fact: Another eyewitness claimed no one was near her car

Similarly, another eyewitness added, "I was there. She was sitting inside the moving car and the door was open. The door closed after it touched a poster. Nobody pushed and hit her. There was no one near the door."

Slogans: Subsequently, Banerjee's supporters shouted anti-BJP slogans; Governor faced resistance

The episode, unsurprisingly, sparked a political row. "Many people don't want her to campaign for the elections. That is why she has been attacked by goons," said state minister Subrata Mukherjee.

Outside the hospital, a large number of supporters raised slogans against the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

When Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar visited the hospital to check on Banerjee, he faced "go back" slogans.

Fact: Her nephew and TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee posted a picture

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Statement: BJP refused to believe Banerjee was attacked

On the other hand, the BJP claimed Banerjee was turning a "simple incident" into a "pre-planned conspiracy."

"It can happen that she met with an accident but to claim that she was deliberately pushed is not acceptable. She has a lot of security personnel guarding her round the clock," said Kailash Vijayvargiya.

Congress's Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury dubbed it a "siyasi pakhand."

Report: EC has sought a report by tomorrow evening

Interestingly, Chowdhury's party colleague Manish Tewari condemned the attack. "Violence has no place in politics. Wish her a speedy recovery, (sic)" he tweeted.

Banerjee also garnered support from politicians like Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Arvind Kejriwal (Aam Aadmi Party), and Tejashwi Yadav (Rashtriya Janata Dal).

The Election Commission has sought a report on the incident by 5 pm tomorrow, IE reports quoting sources.

‘Deep Rooted Conspiracy’: TMC

Speaking to the media after meeting the poll body on Thursday, O’Brien said, “Those responsible for this heinous incident need to be brought to book. It was in such poor taste that within 30 minutes, there were other kinds of statements. We condemn those statements. Talk to doctors and see what happened.”

Meanwhile, Chatterjee said that the EC has to take responsibility for the attack on Mamata Banerjee and alleged that the poll body is acting on the orders of the BJP, reported PTI.

In a letter submitted to the EC, the party insinuated a link between the removal of the erstwhile DGP and the “brazen” attack, and alleged that it was “deep rooted conspiracy to take the life of our Chairperson.”

Spreading Lies About Attack: BJP

Meanwhile, a delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders also met EC officials in Kolkata to complain against Mamata’s accusation and seek a probe.

According to a report by NDTV, the BJP said it would lodge a complaint with the polls body that she's "spreading lies about attack for politics".

"We will ask for a high level probe into the attack, how it happened, who was responsible...We will also demand that local police officers be suspended since this happened on their watch," Bengal BJP vice president Pratap Banerjee told NDTV.

In their letter to the poll body, BJP has called the breach of security “alarming” and demanded that the video footage of the incident be made public to “clear the air.”

TMC, BJP to knock EC's door over 'attack' on Mamata

Representatives of the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition BJP in West Bengal will be meeting Election Commission officials on Thursday over the alleged attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her poll campaign, leaders of the two parties said.

The three-member TMC delegation, led by state minister Partha Chatterjee, would register a complaint about the incident and demand a thorough probe.

'We would seek a reply from the EC, how come the security was not in place despite Mamata Banerjee still being the chief minister of the state. It is the duty of the EC to ensure the safety of the candidates,' a senior TMC leader said.

Chatterjee would be accompanied by TMC's leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O'Brien and state minister Chandrima Bhattacharya.

A delegation of the opposition BJP is also scheduled to meet the EC officials to demand a proper investigation into the incident.

'We want the video footage of the incident to be made public so that the people get to know what actually happened,' a state BJP leader said.

The chief minister is at present undergoing treatment at the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata with injury to her left leg, waist, shoulder and neck, according to doctors.

Banerjee alleged on Wednesday evening that during her campaign in Nandigram, she was attacked by four-five men who pushed her, besides banging on her the door of her car, leading to the injuries.

TMC workers protest across Bengal over 'attack' on Mamata

Trinamool Congress activists took out rallies across West Bengal on Thursday, protesting against an alleged attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Purba Medinipur's Nandigram.

Protests were held in different parts of Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Howrah, Birbhum, South 24 Parganas, Jalpaiguri districts, and Trinamool Congress supporters briefly blocked roads in some areas.

They shouted slogans against the BJP, accusing it of conspiring against Banerjee.

The ruling party activists took to the streets and burnt tyres to protest against her political conspirators in Nadigram's Birulia Bazar area where Banerjee sustained injuries on her left leg and waist as she fell on the ground after she was allegedly pushed by unknown miscreants while campaigning for assembly elections on Wednesday.

Case registered over attack on Mamata

A case was registered on Thursday over the attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, following a complaint lodged by TMC leader Sheikh Sufian, police said.

The case was lodged under IPC sections 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), a senior police officer of the Purba Medinipur district said.

'We have received a complaint from Mr Sufiyan. Our investigation is already underway and we are collecting evidence,' the officer said.

In the morning, District Magistrate Vibhu Goel, Superintendent of Police Praween Prakash and other officers visited the Birulia Bazar area where the incident happened.

The officers spoke to eye-witnesses, besides looking for any CCTV installed in the area to ascertain the exact sequence of events.

The chief minister is at present undergoing treatment at the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata with injury to her left leg, waist, shoulder and neck, according to doctors.

Banerjee alleged on Wednesday evening that during her campaign in Nandigram, she was attacked by four-five men who pushed her, besides banging on her the door of her car, leading to the injuries.

The BJP's West Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh on Thursday demanded a CBI probe into the alleged attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying that it needs to be seen whether the incident was a 'well-scripted drama' to garner votes.

Speaking to reporters, Ghosh said that the people of the state have seen such 'drama' earlier as well.

'It needs to be probed what actually happened. How come a Z-plus protectee gets attacked is a matter that has to be looked into. The state should order a CBI probe to bring out the truth,' he said.

'It needs to be seen whether it was a true incident or a well-scripted drama,' Ghosh said, referring to Banerjee's photos on the hospital bed with her leg plastered.

Ghosh said that 'such a drama' to garner sympathy votes, sensing defeat, would not yield any results this time.

'The people of the state have seen such drama earlier too. Those who know they would be voted out of power can stoop to any level to get votes,' he said.

The chief minister is at present undergoing treatment at the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata with injury to her left leg, waist, shoulder and neck, according to doctors.

Banerjee alleged on Wednesday evening that during her campaign in Nandigram, she was attacked by four-five men who pushed her, besides banging on her the door of her car, leading to the injuries.

The Trinamool Congress alleged that it was a well- planned conspiracy to 'remove her' from the poll campaign.

'Many people don't want her to campaign for the elections. They want her to be removed from their path. The BJP should be ashamed of themselves that they have stooped so low that they are attacking a woman,' TMC leader Sougata Roy said.

‘EC has to take responsibility for attack on Mamata’

Trinamool Congress on Thursday slammed the Election Commission for ‘failing to provide security’ to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was injured during election campaign in Nandigram, and said the EC cannot shun responsibility as it is in charge of law and order situation in the poll-bound state.

Accusing the EC of acting 'as per orders' of the BJP leaders, the TMC delegation after meeting the EC officials here, alleged that the 'Election Commission did nothing despite there being reports of a possible attack on Banerjee'.

'The law and order situation in Bengal was good. But, after announcement of elections law and order become responsibility of the EC.

'The EC removed DGP of the state police and the very next day she was attacked,' TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said.

Claiming that several comments by senior BJP leaders had dropped enough indications that Banerjee might be attacked, Chatterjee said 'despite having those inputs the chief minister was left with no proper security'.

'Who will take responsibility for attack on Mamata Banerjee, when EC is in charge of administration? EC has to take responsibility for the incident.

'They are acting as per orders of the BJP leaders. The BJP is asking the EC to remove an official and they are removing him,' he said.

The three-member TMC delegation, led by state minister Partha Chatterjee met EC officials and registered a complaint into the incident and demanded a thorough probe.

Chatterjee was accompanied by TMC leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O'Brien and state minister Chandrima Bhattacharya.

'You have to understand the chronology. You remove the DGP, leave a woman chief minister's security less and then attack her. If you go through social media post by the BJP leaders there have been indications that she would be attacked,' O'Brien said.

Banerjee is at present undergoing treatment at the SSKM hospital in Kolkata with injury to her left leg, waist, shoulder and neck, according to doctors.

The TMC supremo alleged on Wednesday evening that during her campaign in Nandigram, she was attacked by four-five men who pushed her, besides banging on her the door of her car, leading to the injuries.

BJP leaders visit Mamata’s hospital, not allowed to see her

A delegation of BJP leaders on Thursday visited the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is undergoing treatment.

Former governor of Tripura and Meghalaya Tathagata Roy and state BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya, who went to the state-run hospital, said that they could not meet the Trinamool Congress chief owing to medical reasons.

'We conveyed our concern to the TMC leaders present, including minister Arup Biswas, and wished the chief minister a speedy recovery,' Bhattacharya said.

The chief minister is admitted at the hospital with injury to her left leg, waist, shoulder and neck, according to doctors.

Banerjee alleged on Wednesday evening that during her campaign in Nandigram, she was attacked by four-five men who pushed her, besides banging on her the door of her car, leading to the injuries.

TMC postpones manifesto release following 'attack' on Mamata

The TMC has postponed the release of its manifesto for the upcoming elections in West Bengal, following the alleged attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, party leaders said.

Banerjee, the party's chairperson, was scheduled to release the manifesto in the afternoon at her residence in Kalighat.

'The manifesto release has been postponed for the time being. It will be released after Mamata Banerjee gets well and is back home. Although our manifesto is ready, there is no question of releasing it without her,' a senior TMC leader said.

The incident came a day after the Election Commission replaced the Director General of Bengal Police, Mr Virender, amid allegations of violence voiced by the BJP. An IPS officer of the 1987 batch, P Nirajnayan, has been named the new police chief.

After elections are announced, law and order become responsibility of EC, said TMC leader Derek O'Brien on attack on Mamata Banerjee.

TMC urges party workers to maintain peace

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The TMC urged all party workers to maintain peace and not let their emotions flow. "We appeal to all our workers to not let their emotions overflow. We understand your concerns & we’ll keep updating about Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's health. We request to maintain peace and not resort to means which Didi would not approve of. Let us all pray for her speedy recovery," the TMC tweeted. Inputs: PTI, ANI, News18, The Quint, NewsBytes

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