Mamata flip-flop on Maoists involvement

It was a joint conspiracy as both the Jnaneswari and the Sainthia train disasters were engineered before the civic elections, said Mamata Banerjee.

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2011, 18:13 PM IST

Kolkata: Nineteen months after she
suggested that CPI(M) was behind the Jnaneswari Express
disaster, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday
said Maoists were `prima facie` responsible, but later
clarified she did not also rule out the hand of the Marxists.

"Maoists were responsible for the Jnaneswari Express
disaster that left 160 people dead. This is now proved,"
Banerjee told a party martyrs rally here with the bodies of
two Trinamool Congress supporters killed in Maoist attack in
Purulia on Monday.

Banerjee said that she was then the Railway minister
and had demanded a CBI inquiry, "which prima facie established
Maoist involvement in their chargesheet submitted in court."

Shortly afterwards, however, the chief minister came
out with a clarification on TV news channel `Star Ananda`
saying "Maoists were responsible for the disaster, but who had
made them do it? We have our suspicion. We can`t state this
without evidence.

"Many killings have taken place in the name of Maoists.
Maoists have link with the CPI(M). During the CPI(M)
regime many people including EFR personnel at Shilda and an
officer-in-charge in a police station in West Midnapur
district lost their lives at the hands of the Maoists,"
Banerjee said.

Asked why she had accused the CPI(M) of being behind
the train disaster and was now blaming the Maoists, Banerjee
said "We had a certain amount of suspicion. It still remains.

"When this comes up in court, this will be stated,"
the chief minister said.

Reminded of the accusation by a section of
intellectuals supporting her who had blamed the CPI(M) for the
train disaster, she said "I have a respect for them. I
cannot dismiss their contention.

"It was a joint conspiracy the villagers told me. Both
the Jnaneswari and the Sainthia train disasters were
engineered before the civic elections in 2010 to hit me
politically."

PTI