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Irony: Mamata Banerjee observes Shahid Dibas for 1993 police firing, while the then Home Secretary is now a TMC MP

In the name of Shahid Dibas, Mamata Banerjee reiterated her demand for going back to ballot paper based elections

Today, the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is all set to celebrate the annual Shahid Dibas to commemorate the killing of 13 youth Congress workers. They were killed in a police firing in Kolkata on 21 July 1993 under the Left Front government.

Mamata Banerjee has for long always held Jyoti Basu, the then Chief Minister, and his cabinet responsible for the firing. However, she has refrained from blaming the then home secretary Manish Gupta for the firing. In fact, Gupta is now a member of TMC and serving as an MP in the Rajya Sabha.

Last year, both the Congress and the BJP termed the TMC’s “Shahid Dibas” as a farce. The BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh had accused the TMC of holding the rally for political gains. “None of the martyrs (those killed in 1993 firing) have got justice. The person who shot them was an officer then and today he is a minister in the TMC. He is governing the country,” Ghosh said.

The Congress had also called out Mamata’s hypocrisy. They claimed that “many of the people who were directly or indirectly responsible for the firing are holding positions in the state government”.

In 1993, July 21 Mamata Banerjee, who was then a Youth Congress leader, led a rally to the Writer’s Building. They demanded photo voter id card to be made mandatory. On their way to the building, the police had intervened and opened fire at them.

21 year later after Mamata became the Chief Minister, she had set up a commission to find out who had ordered the police to open fire. Mamata had blamed Jyoti Basu, the then Chief Minister, and his cabinet responsible.

The commission in its report has said that that the control room officers were “vicariously responsible” and “overacted to please their political bosses”. The report also says that the incident was worse than Jallianawala Bagh massacre.

Manish Gupta had also testified before the commission. He said that he didn’t support the firing. The commission said that ‘history would answer’ why the firing was ordered when the then home secretary did not support it.

The report came out in 2014 and the Mamata Banerjee government has not taken any action against those responsible. Many including the likes of Manish Gupta continue to hold positions of power within the TMC.

From her tweet today Mamata Banerjee could be clearly seen using the “Shahid Dibas” for political gains. She has once again retorted to the old demand for discontinuing the usage of EVMs.

Despite being proven wrong many times, the TMC continues to blame the EVMs for the losses the party faced during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Last month, Mamata read an Urdu sher and blamed the EVMs to take on the BJP. Other TMC MPs had also staged a protest in front of the Parliament demanding to bring back paper ballot in future elections.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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