18 Feb 2021: Attacked Minister was being pressured to join others, says Mamata
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that "some people" were pressuring Labour Minister Jakir Hossain to join their party.
Hossain was on Wednesday injured in a blast as crude bombs were hurled at him in what Banerjee likened to Punjab CM Beant Singh's assassination in 1995.
Banerjee also said that it was a planned attack, adding that an investigation is underway.
Quote: 'It was a planned attack going by eyewitness accounts'
Banerjee told reporters, "Jakir Hossain is a big businessman...runs a huge beeri factory. It was a planned attack going by eyewitness accounts."
"It was a fearful blast. I'm shocked. It's like the Beant Singh blast," she added. "Some people (party) were pressuring Jakir Hossian to join them for the last few months. I don't want to disclose anything more as an investigation is on."
Attack: Hossain was attacked on his way to Nimtita Railway station
Hossain had suffered injuries after unidentified persons hurled crude bombs at him.
He was walking towards the Nimtita Railway station to board a train for Kolkata.
Reportedly, he suffered injuries in one hand and a leg, but his condition is stable.
Banerjee said that 26 people, including Hossain, were injured in the blast. 14 of them are in serious condition, she said.
Railways: 'How can Railways deny responsibility?'
Banerjee also held the Indian Railways responsible for the attack, raising concerns about security lapses.
"How can the Railways deny their responsibility for security lapses when the attack happened at a railway station?" she asked. "This is hooliganism, not politics."
Investigations were underway at the Nimtita Railway station and the West Bengal Crime Investigation Department (CID) is taking over the case.
Investigation: Investigation underway; Congress leader suggests involving NIA
West Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said, "A police investigation is on. The CM has said that CID, STF, and CIF have joined in. I hope Railways will help them. On behalf of the party, we want that culprits be arrested and brought to court."
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury suggested that the CM should approach the National Investigation Agency for the probe.
Other details: Banerjee also announced financial compensation for injured
Banerjee has announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh for those grievously injured and Rs. 1 lakh for those with minor injuries.
West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh said, "The incident shows that West Bengal is not safe even for ministers. The government has failed to control the law and order."
Unknown persons had attacked BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari's rally in Beleghata Wednesday night.