KOLKATA: In an unprecedented act by a political party in the country, the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday took out a protest rally against the NIA probe into the Bardhaman blast case in which Islamist terrorists from Bangladesh were involved.
Leading the protest rally, TMC national secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy alleged that some Opposition parties were trying to foment trouble in a peaceful state. “The state police did the right thing by maintaining peace, instead of spreading rumours while people were celebrating Durga Puja,” he said.
After the explosion, in which Bangladeshi terrorist Shakil Ahmed died and his aide Abdul Hakim was seriously injured, the state police had arrested their partners -- Raziya Bibi alias Rumi and Amina Bibi -- and recovered grenades and rocket launchers,which were later detonated on the banks of the Damodar.
They had, however, prevented the National Investigation Authority (NIA) officials from inspecting the house and interrogating Raziya and Amina, who had also received arms training at al-Qaeda-run camps abroad.
All counter terrorism experts, including former National Security Guard (NSG) officials as well as former Army Chief, General Shankar Roy Chowdhury, have severely criticised the destruction of evidence and the TMC’s opposition to the NIA probe.
Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya, who hails from Bardhaman, said, “It is Roy’s job to provide a good certificate to the police, who are acting like the TMC cadre. Was the police aware of such a huge terror plot being hatched in a district, which has no borders with Bangladesh from where explosive manufacturing commodities were being smuggled?”
CPM MP Mohammad Salim alleged that the ruling party was trying to hush up the case as its leaders were involved with terrorist organisations.
The BJP, meanwhile, announced a statewide agitation against Mamata Banerjee-led TMC Government, which was shielding “anti-national elements”. “We will hold demonstrations on Thursday at all districts in the state demanding an NIA probe and condemning the TMC Government, which is providing shelter to terrorists from Bangladesh,” said state BJP president Rahul Sinha.
Another BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh pointed out that Mamata had in 2009 demanded an NIA probe after arms were found at Vedic Village resort. “Now, when terror acts are being committed at her party leader’s house, she is opposing the probe,” he said.