Belpahari/Kolkata: Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee has sparked a fresh controversy after he claimed that dreaded Maoist leader Kishenji had been "killed" by the government headed by his aunt Mamata Banerjee in 2011, evoking strong reaction from parties and rights activists.
The comment by Abhishek runs contrary to the official claim by the security forces and the state government that Kishenji had been killed in an encounter by security forces in the jungles of West Midnapore district on November 24, 2011.
"Earlier whenever you opened a newspaper, you found only stories of killings in Jangalmahal. But in the last four years only one person was killed, he is none other than Maoist leader Kishenji. The Mamata Banerjee government, by killing him, has proved that in days to come people will have the final word," Abhishek told a rally at Belpahari in West Midnapore district last night.
"The state will pick up arms only for the sake of masses and not for the sake of terror. Earlier in Jangalmahal there was violence, but now peace prevailed," Abhishek said.
The comment triggered an angry reaction from opposition parties, which sought a clarification from the chief minister on the controversial comment.
BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said, "Lawlessness is the hallmark of the TMC rule. To justify that all is well under Mamata Banerjee, her MP nephew has come up with a bizarre statement that the Maoist leader was killed under Mamataji's direction, thereby admitting that it was a state-sponsored killing."
Singh wondered if Mamata Banerjee would concur with her nephew's contention.
CPI(M) politburo member Mohammed Salim too demanded an explanation from Mamata, saying, "Abhishek Banerjee has exposed the truth. Mamata, when she was in the opposition, had demanded an inquiry into the killing of Maoist leader Azad. But after she came to power, she herself used the state machinery to kill Kishenji. The state can't kill someone, there is a due process of law to punish her or him."
Human rights activist Ranjit Sur said claims by human rights activists that Kishenji's death was "a cold blooded murder" had been proved by Abhishek Banerjee's statement.
Abhishek has been in the news for his controversial statements.
The young MP had last month threatened those who dared to challenge the TMC administration that their eyes would be gouged out and their hands chopped off, prompting the state BJP to file an FIR against him.