Mamata flies from Delhi,lands in Kolkata hospital

AN upset and unwell Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday cancelled all her appointments in New Delhi and flew to Kolkata on a private jet,a day after the West Bengal Chief Minister and her finance minister Amit Mitra were gheraoed by angry supporters of CPM’s student wing,SFI,who were protesting the death of their comrade Sudipta Gupta in police custody.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi/kolkata | Published: April 11, 2013 4:05 am

AN upset and unwell Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday cancelled all her appointments in New Delhi and flew to Kolkata on a private jet,a day after the West Bengal Chief Minister and her finance minister Amit Mitra were gheraoed by angry supporters of CPM’s student wing,SFI,who were protesting the death of their comrade Sudipta Gupta in police custody.

After reaching Kolkata,she was immediately taken to a private hospital,Belle Vue Clinic,with complaints of chest pain and shoulder pain. She was later hospitalised. Sources in the hospital said that she may have to stay there for a few days. (See box) Mitra,who was roughed up by the SFI supporters,continued to remain admitted at AIIMS. His condition is said to be stable

After abruptly cutting short her three-day visit to Delhi where she was supposed to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram,she told mediapersons that Delhi was not safe. “I am returning to Kolkata. I was unwell since last evening and had to be administered oxygen.

I will come back,but Delhi is not a safe place. I am sorry….I was badly manhandled,but I cannot speak,” she said.

She expressed her disappointment for not being able to meet the Prime Minister due to her health and said the PM had expressed regret over Tuesday’s incident and apologised to her. “He told me that Mamataji,what happened … I also apologise to you…which should not (have) happen(ed) and I think that in Delhi … this is the first time,it is happening,” she said.

Meanwhile,her party leaders and ministers alleged that Tuesday’s “attack” was aimed at killing the Chief Minister. “It was a ploy to kill Banerjee. Had Firhad Hakim not prevented an SFI supporter from attacking her with an iron rod she would have received fatal injuries,” said Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee,who was also accompanying Mamata to Delhi.

Mukherjee also accused Delhi Police of “totally failing to provide protection” to Mamata. “They should have taken care of fool-proof security. The way the SFI and CPM supporters attacked us is shameful,” he added.

Senior Trinamool leader and former Railway Minister Mukul Roy,who led a protest march by party workers at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar also called it “a murderous attempt on the life of the Chief Minister and three other cabinet ministers,especially Amit Mitra.”

Linking it to the panchayat elections in the state,he said it was “a pre-planned attack on the eve of panchayat polls to create a situation so that the demand for central forces can be justified”.

He slammed Delhi Police,which filed an FIR late on Tuesday evening,for failing to make a single arrest. “It was not a students’ outfit protest. Goons above the age of 40 years were hired,” he added.

Hakim and Commerce and Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee also echoed Roy and Mukherjee,and demanded immediate arrest of SFI president Ritabrata Bandopadhyay and general secretary Satarup Ghosh,who led Tuesday’s agitation outside Yojana Bhawan.

“This is a conspiracy. What was Delhi Police doing?’’ Chatterjee asked. “The keys of the gate (of Yojana Bhawan) through which Mamata and her colleagues entered were missing for eight minutes. We have strong suspicion that CPM people perpetrated this mischief. They tried to hit the CM on her head,” Hakim added.

With PTI inputs

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