'Why was Amit Shah silent during Hathras rape case': Mamata

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(Eds: With additional inputs) Nandigram(WB), Mar 29 (PTI) With the Union home minister condoling the death of Shova Majumdar, the 82-year- old mother of a party worker who was allegedly attacked by TMC supporters, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday hit back at Amit Shah and asked why was the home minister silent during the Hathras rape case in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh.

Asserting that she does not support violence against women, Banerjee said, she is not aware of the actual reason behind Majumdar's death.

The saffron party claimed that the elderly woman who was allegedly beaten, at Nimta in North 24 Paraganas district in February, succumbed to her injuries sustained during the attack by TMC supporters.

His son was also beaten up on that day, the BJP said.

'I don't know how the sister has died. We don't support violence against women. We have never supported violence against my sisters and mothers. But the BJP is now politicising the issue.

'Amit Shah is tweeting and saying, 'Bengal Ka Kya Haal hain'. Why does was he mum when women were attacked and brutalised at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh?' Banerjee said while addressing a rally in Nandigram.

Highlighting that law and order is now under ECI's jurisdiction with the Model Code of Conduct in place, Banerjee said, 'three TMC workers have been killed in the last few days'.

Condoling the woman's death, the home minister said earlier in the day, the pain and anguish of Majumdar's family will haunt TMC chief Mamata Banerjee for long.

'Anguished over the demise of Bengal's daughter Shova Majumdar Ji, who was brutally beaten by TMC goons. The pain & wounds of her family will haunt Mamata didi for a long. Bengal will fight for a violence-free tomorrow, Bengal will fight for a safer state for our sisters & mothers,' Shah said in a tweet.

Banerjee iterated her claim that the police action in Nandigram on March 14, 2007, which led to the killing of 14 people, could not have happened without the knowledge of veteran political leader Sisir Adhikari and his son Suvendu who have recently switched their loyalties from the Trinamool Congress to the BJP.

Nandigram votes in the second phase of the assembly polls on April 1, and Suvendu Adhikari, her former trusted lieutenant, is Banerjee's challenger from the seat.

Sharpening her attack against Suvendu Adhikari, the TMC leader alleged at a rally that it was he (Suvendu) who had called the police in Nandigram on March 14, 2007.

She claimed that it was not the police but CPI(M) cadres, wearing police uniform, who had fired on the agitators.

'Without the knowledge of the father-son duo, police could not have entered Nandigram on that day,' she said.

At least 14 people were killed in police firing at Nandigram on March 14, 2007, following which the Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI investigation.

Slamming the Adhikari family, the TMC supremo said, 'it is my fault to have showered so much love on them.' She alleged that she did not understand that they would turn out to be 'venomous snakes'.

Asking the TMC workers to guard the premises where the EVM machines would be kept after polling, Banerjee said, she would reward those who will do it, at the same time warning them against trusting even the local police.

The chief minister alleged that those who were CPI(M)'s goons earlier are now with the BJP.

Urging TMC supporters to be aware of goons masquerading as policemen in muftis, Banerjee said that the people of Nandigram had a similar experience in 2007.

The TMC leader said, CPI(M) cadres had entered Nandigram on March 14 2007 during the anti-land acquisition movement in police uniform but wearing slippers which were a dead giveaway of their real identity.

'A similar planning is being done here again,' she said.

'Didn't the traitor know that the police will enter Nandigram on that fateful day, and there would be trouble? How many times they had a conversation with Buddhadeb Bhattacharya (the then chief minister),' she asked, claiming that she also has some information as the state's chief minister.

She alleged that the Adhikari family might have participated in some meetings and rallies but were not in the forefront on that day.

The feisty TMC boss claimed that people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh have entered Nandigram area in the guise of central forces to 'manipulate the assembly elections'.

'They (BJP) think they can rig the polls. We will not allow that to happen. I will stay put in Nandigram till elections are over there. I will myself see how they loot votes,' she asserted.

The BJP has hired 'goons from outside to loot votes', Banerjee alleged.

The TMC leader claimed that in the first phase of the assembly polls on March 27, people have voted for the ruling party in those seats where the party had trailed in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. PTI PNT MM MM