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Monday, May 17, 2021

Sitalkuchi Firing: Row over Mamata’s purported call with TMC pick

The TMC was quick to describe the audio clip as bogus and claimed such a conversation never took place. The Indian Express could not verify the authenticity of the audio clip.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
April 17, 2021 3:57:22 am
Mamata BanerjeeMamata Banerjee (File photo/PTI)

A day before the fifth phase of the Assembly elections, the BJP on Friday released an audio clip in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is purportedly heard telling the TMC candidate from Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi to hold rallies with bodies of the four voters killed in firing by security personnel in the fourth phase polling on April 10.

The TMC was quick to describe the audio clip as bogus and claimed such a conversation never took place. The Indian Express could not verify the authenticity of the audio clip.

BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya released excerpts from the audio clip purportedly featuring Banerjee and Partha Pratim Ray, and alleged that the chief minister was trying to instigate riots by asking the TMC candidate from Sitalkuchi to organise rallies with the bodies.

“She is heard asking her party candidate to frame the case in such a way that both the superintendent of police [of Cooch Behar] and other central forces personnel can be framed. Is this expected from a chief minister? She is trying to instill a sense of fear just for minority votes,” Malviya alleged at a news conference.

In the audio clip, a woman believed to be the chief minister is heard instructing “Ray” to keep his cool till the polling is over. “Don’t panic. You should make arrangements for conducting a rally with the bodies the next day. And also consult a lawyer and file a police complaint so that neither the SP nor IC can escape,” Banerjee reportedly said.

Ray said the audio clip was fake. “Such a conversation between us never took place. This audio clip is totally fake,” he added. In a tweet, the TMC said, “Did the Centre tap into private phone conversations of a SITTING CM? We condemn this blatant breach of privacy…”

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