The Alipore court in West Bengal on Thursday acquitted a man named Lalu Alam, accused in a case of attempt to murder West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee when she was the Youth Congress President almost 29 years ago. The court absolved Alam observing that there was no evidence against him and there was no chance that witnesses would come forward now.
The incident dates back to August 1990 which had grabbed headlines after the primary accused Alam hit Mamata Banerjee on the head with a stick at Hazra crossing near her Kalighat residence, fracturing her skull. Mamata Banerjee was on the street along with other Congress workers trying to enforce a bandh called by the party. They were confronted by CPI(M) workers, and in the ensuing scuffle, Mamata Banerjee was hit by Alam on her head.
In 1994 Mamata Banerjee had deposed before the court as a witness in the case.
The government lawyer Radhakanta Mukherjee said that most of the persons who were named in the charge sheet have either died or are still absconding. According to him, there is nothing left in the case and the government has decided not to waste time and money by needlessly pursuing the case any further. He also asserted that the case was blocked for 21 years by the left government until 2011. Mukherjee said that the chief minister was ready to depose before the court via video conferencing but it could not be arranged.
In 2011 when Mamata Banerjee became the chief minister of the state, toppling the left government, the main accused Alam had claimed that he was happy and he was framed by the leftist leaders. Alam (62), a former leader of the youth wing of the then ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist), lives in Park Circus area in south Kolkata and runs a small business. “I am relieved now. I can’t express the delight I am currently feeling in words. I was worried that the person had become the chief minister. However, if the government had taken the decision in 2011 (when Mamata Banerjee assumed charge of the state), I would have been able to focus on my work more,” said Alam.