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NIA officials attacked villagers in Bengal, not the other way round: Mamata Banerjee hits back

A vehicle carrying NIA officials was on Saturday attacked by villagers in Bhupatinagar, where they had gone to investigate a 2022 bomb blast case in which three persons were killed, police said.

Edited By: Nivedita Dash @Nivedita0503 Balurghat Updated on: April 06, 2024 15:50 IST
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
Image Source : PTI West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday blamed NIA officials for attacking villagers at Bhupatinagar in East Midnapore district and not the other way round and claimed that the probe agency team had gone to the houses of villagers in the early hours over an incident of "bursting of crackers in 2022".

"The attack was not carried out by women of Bhupatinagar, it was by the National Investigation Agency (NIA)," she said at an election rally in South Dinajpur district's Balurghat. "Will the women sit back if they are attacked?" she said, adding that they had only protested after NIA officials went to some of their houses over the December 2022 incident.

The investigation was later handed over to the NIA. The probe team arrested two persons in connection with the case and when they were on the way back to Kolkata, their vehicle came under attack. Later, the NIA team complained to Bhupatinagar police station, an official said. The Trinamool Congress chief accused the BJP government at the Centre of trying to use the central agencies to win the elections.

"We want the Election Commission to work impartially, not turn into a BJP-run commission," she said. Questioning transfer of state's police officers by the EC, she asked why the officers of ED, CBI and IT have not been changed. NIA, CBI are brothers of BJP; the ED and IT are funding boxes of BJP," Banerjee said.

"If you (BJP) have the power, win the election by fighting democratically. Don't arrest my booth-level workers and election agents," she said at the rally.

She condemned the arrests of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren by central agencies over cases related to excise policy and an alleged land scam, respectively. "There must be a level-playing field in the elections," she said.

With PTI inputs

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