Kolkata: A day after he was slapped by a youth at a public meeting, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s nephew Abhishek Banerjee Monday forgave the assaulter and appealed to Trinamool Congress workers to maintain peace in the state.
"At a personal level... let me forgive the perpetrator and wish him early recovery. Today is a new day, let us look ahead. I also urge my co-workers to maintain peace, harmony throughout the state and be restrained in their actions," the Trinamool MP wrote on his official Facebook page.
The youth - identified as Debasish Acharya - suddenly mounted the dais and slapped Banerjee Sunday when he was addressing a public meeting in Chandipur in East Midnapore district.
The incident led to chaos as Trinamool workers thrashed the attacker severely and later went on a rampage, targeting policemen and media persons at the public meeting convened by the Trinamool Youth Congress (TYC).
Acharya, admitted in a serious condition at the Tamluk Hospital with multiple injuries, was arrested on various charges including attempt to murder.
Banerjee said that as a police probe was on, he would not make any comment that would "pre-judge the inquiry".
The Trinamool leader, widely perceived as the political heir of his aunt, termed the attack an "act of cowardice" and said he was now "doubly committed" to work for the people.
"My beliefs and my will to work will not lessen because of what happened. Whoever is behind this act of cowardice has no idea what we are made of. I am now doubly committed to working for the people and doing my very best for them," he said.
Taking security personnel and party workers unawares, Acharya had climbed the dais while seemingly clicking photos on his mobile phone and came close to Banerjee.
Before anyone could react, Acharya slapped Banerjee on his face soon after he started his speech at the TYC meeting. Taken aback, Banerjee moved back, and the youth`s second attempt to hit him did not succeed.
TYC workers and leaders on the dais sprung into action, caught hold of the youth and started beating him up after pinning him to the ground.
He was taken below the stage and thrashed mercilessly by enraged party workers.