Kolkata: Maverick CPI(M) leader Abdur Rezzak Mollah on Tuesday said it would have been appropriate if Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee`s expression of regret for Netai killings came soon after the incident in January, 2011 when he was the chief minister of West Bengal.
"It would have been timely and more credible to the people had he said it then," Mollah, who has been a consistent critic of Bhattacharjee, told reporters here.
Nine innocent villagers were killed in indiscriminate firing from a house owned by a local CPI(M) leader at Netai village in West Midnapore district on January 7, 2011.
Those arrested for the crime were all activists of the CPI(M), the major constituent of the then ruling Left Front.
Bhattacharjee, a politburo member of the CPI(M), had on Sunday admitted to the complicity of his partymen in the Netai killings during his tenure as chief minister of West Bengal and expressed regret for the incident which had caused a nationwide outcry.
"Incidents like Netai are wrong. Our boys had done wrong at Netai," Bhattacharjee said, regretting the incident which had created an uproar, at a public rally organised by the Left Front at Midnapore town, headquarter of West Midnapore district.
"It was a grave mistake," he said about the incident.
Mollah, a former minister in the Bhattacharjee cabinet, had on earlier occasions too criticised the veteran leader and some other senior party leaders openly.
Mollah had mocked Bhattacharjee and former industries minister Nirupam Sen when the Left front got a drubbing at the hands of the Trinamool Congress in the 2011 Assembly poll, saying "Hele saap dhorte pare na, keute dhorte gechhe (can`t catch a harmless snake, but went to catch a cobra)."