Congress attacks Mamata for backing custodial death accused

Kolkata, June 30 (IANS) The Congress Sunday attacked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for backing a legislator of her Trinamool Congress who is now under the CBI scanner as an accused in a custodial death case.

"The victim's wife is a widow from the minority community. Why did not the CM, who is so much concerned about the minorities, assure punishment for those guilty of the crime," asked Congress leader Abdul Mannan.

"Instead, she chose to back Patra - a key accused. When the CM herself has come out in support of an accused, how can you expect justice? It is unbecoming of a chief minister," added Mannan.

Local Trinamool leader Kazi Naseeruddin was allegedly beaten to death Jan 19, while he was in the custody of Hooghly district's Dhaniakhali police. The crime was allegedly committed at the behest of local legislator Asima Patra.

Accusing the opposition of conspiring against Patra, Banerjee during a party rally in Hooghly's Pandua Saturday, said: "I was, am and will remain with Asima (Patra)."

A public interest litigation was filed before the Calcutta High Court accusing Patra of being instrumental in Naseeruddin's death, and seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.

The court, acting on the PIL, expressed its displeasure over the shoddy investigation into the case by the state police and ordered the central agency to take over the probe.

The high court's order was subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court.

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