Kolkata: As soon as the deadline set by the Election Commission for not entering the boundaries of Cooch Behar district ended for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, she on Wednesday met the families of the victims who were killed at Sitalkuchi during the fourth phase of polling.
Four people were killed in the firing by the central forces in Sitalkuchi in Bengal on April 10.
After the meeting, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, "I have met the family members of the five killed in Sitalkuchi. They have died at such a tender age. I think the incident should be investigated. Those who are guilty should be punished. Let the elections be over. The State Government will investigate the incident. The family of the deceased will get justice. Don't fall into the trap of any kind of instigation. We will not spare anybody, however, influential the person might be, they will be tried".
Of the five people killed who the Chief Minister referred to, four were villagers of Jor Patki village and were killed in the firing by the central forces and one person was killed by some unknown miscreants while coming out after casting vote. The four persons killed in the firing on Saturday last are identified as Amjad Hossain (28), Chalmu Mian (23), Jobed Ali (20) and Nameed Mia (20).
The chief minister also met Jagadish Barman - the father of Ananda Baraman (18), the first time voter of Pathantuli, Golenawhati GP, Sitalkuchi, Cooch Behar and the fifth person killed by a shot from a firearm by unknown miscreants.
"Four of the minority brothers died and one of my Rajbanshi brothers died. All the deaths are the same to time. Death of anybody is unfortunate and the government is always beside them. I cannot give back their life but shall do everything possible to help the families come out of this painful situation," the Chief Minister said.
BJP President J.P. Nadda, however, gave a different spin to what Mamata had said, when he criticized Mamata Banerjee for doing politics on religious lines in Sitalkuchi. Speaking at a rally in Kolkata on Wednesday, the BJP President said, "Mamata Banerjee didn't say a single word about the Rajbanshi, the first time voter, who was killed by the TMC goons when he was coming out after casting his vote. Is this because he is Rajbanshi? Is this because he is Dalit? This is very unfortunate".
Senior TMC leader Sougata Roy was quick to respond. "The chief minister expressed her solidarity to all the people who were killed on that day. She made it clear that the government will provide assistance to all the families of the deceased. The BJP leaders are trying to politicise the whole incident. They should stop doing politics and think about the common people- the people who lost their lives in the incident".
(Based on IANS feed with minor edits)