The government is probing the allegation that political strategist Prashant Kishor violated lockdown and flew to Kolkata on a cargo flight on invitation on West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. As per a report by ANI, the aviation department revealed that “on the directions of the government, aviation security authorities have checked the CCTV footage of three airports of Delhi, Kolkata, and Guwahati of the last 72 hours to ascertain if political strategist Prashant Kishor travelled to Kolkata.”
Aviation authorities sought details from certain airlines including Air India, spice jet and Blue dart because in the last three days a total of nine cargo flights have been in operation from Delhi to Kolkata.
As per reports, Mamata Banerjee called Prashant Kishor to West Bengal to handle the criticism after she was summoned by centre for not allowing the Inter-Ministerial Central Team to visit Kolkata and Jalpaiguri. They were also barred from interacting with the local health workers. IMCT members are also being restricted from making an on-spot assessment of the Coronavirus crisis in the state.
Amid this, a report by India Today on 23rd April claimed that Prashant Kishor had rushed to Kolkata from Delhi after receiving an SOS message from West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee. The report stated that Kishor reached Kolkata on a cargo flight. After the report, BJP leaders also made the allegation and said that it is a violation of lockdown norms.
While the passenger flights are suspended due to the ongoing lockdown, cargo flights are operating to transport essential commodities and medical equipment and supplies.
However, Prashant Kishor had earlier refuted the charges and challenged the BJP to furnish the proof of his visit and if not, then apologize. Prashant Kishor has also said that he would retire from public life if the charges are proven true.
According to an aviation official, three cargo operators who flew from Delhi during the last four days have confirmed that Kishor has not flown in their aircraft. “We expect a report of the ongoing probe shortly. The DGCA and airport authorities are examining the issue,” said another aviation ministry official.
Bengal Government’s handling of coronavirus situation
A section of health care workers has exposed the mamata banerjee’s government’s carelessness in handling the crisis. Healthcare workers have put out videos which depict lack of kits, PPE, masks and gloves, showing the true picture of the health sector in the West Bengal.
The doctors had alleged they were being forced to work against medical ethics by withholding the causes of death from a patient party and in the general public even though they were writing death certificates.
Earlier, healthcare workers had written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanding more transparency on detection, treatment and deaths of coronavirus positive patients in the state.
In a video shared by Babul Supriyo, BJP MP from Asansol, a person admitted to an isolation ward in MR Bangur Hospital in Tollygunge in West Bengal narrates the deplorable conditions under which suspected Coronavirus patients have been quarantined. 45 seconds into the video, the man holding the camera points towards a dead body lying unattended on a bed for over hours, while other patients looked on.
Bengal sitting on a “Time Bomb”, said health workers
The suppression of facts and fudging of data has become a major worry for authorities and health experts in West Bengal, which has now snowballed into a huge controversy between the Trinamool Congress-led West Bengal government and health-care experts.
The health-care experts believe that the situation in Bengal is very grave as the Mamata Banerjee-led government has not been giving real data to assess the actual seriousness of the pandemic. From threats to doctors for whistleblowing against the state government against lack of facilities to allegations of state government illegally disposing of dead bodies, there have been serious allegations against the Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal.