Mamata Banerjee leaves hospital in wheelchair; TMC demands high-level probe

Mamata Banerjee leaves hospital in wheelchair; TMC demands high-level probe
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, sitting in a wheel-chair, expresses her gratitude for the party activists for their support after her leg injury, while being discharged from SSKM Hospital in Kolkata, Friday, March 12, 2021. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was discharged from state-run SSKM Hospital here on Friday evening after doctors found her recovery to be "satisfactory".

Doctors took the decision after the 66-year-old TMC supremo repeatedly requested them to discharge her from the medical establishment.

Banerjee, seated on a wheelchair with her left foot plastered, greeted several party activists gathered outside the Woodburn Block of the hospital.

She left the hospital in her vehicle for her Kalighat residence.

Her nephew and Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee, party colleagues and state minister Firhad Hakim were present at the medical establishment.

"Her condition has improved a lot and she repeatedly insisted to be discharged from the hospital. She will be able to move with restrictions but she needs to come back for another round of check-up within a week," the doctor said.

Banerjee fell and suffered severe injuries in her left ankle and foot and right shoulder, forearm and neck after she was allegedly pushed by 4-5 unidentified persons on Wednesday evening during her campaigning in Nandigram seat, from where she is contesting in this assembly election.

She was rushed to SSKM Hospital in Kolkata from Purba Medinipur district through a green corridor and was kept under observation for 48 hours.

TMC demands high-level probe into 'attack' on Mamata

A TMC delegation met the Election Commission (EC) on Friday and demanded a high-level probe into an alleged attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram and claimed it was not an "unfortunate incident", but a conspiracy.

The six-member delegation of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) met the full EC team, including Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora, for over an hour and submitted a memorandum to it, highlighting how BJP leaders in West Bengal had threatened the chief minister through tweets and other remarks.

"Injuries to Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram were not a result of an unfortunate incident but that of a conspiracy. The events leading up to the attempt on her life leave no doubt that the attack was part of a deep-rooted conspiracy," TMC MP Saugata Roy told reporters after meeting the EC.

In the memorandum, the TMC has made allegations against Suvendu Adhikari, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Nandigram in the upcoming state Assembly polls.

"When an attempt was made on the life of Ms Banerjee, in which she was grievously hurt, to cover up the attack, eye-witnesses were planted, illustratively, eye-witnesses Chittaranjan Das and Debabrata Das, who testified that Ms Banerjee's car was hit against an iron pillar, are associates of Suvendu Adhikari, BJP candidate from Nandigram," the memorandum says.

The party said the BJP's state president Dilip Ghosh had uploaded a caricature depicting that she would be hit at Nandigram. Around the same time, numerous complaints were filed by the saffron party with the EC seeking immediate removal of the then police chief and IGP of West Bengal, it said.

The TMC also gave similar instances of other leaders.

"There is a clear nexus between the post by Dilip Ghosh on Facebook, multiple complaints seeking removal of DGP, the unilateral decision of the ECI to remove the erstwhile (police chief), the plan revealed by Saumitra Khan on Twitter, BJP's request to suspend/remove security personnel of Ms Banerjee, the resultant attempt on the life of Ms Banerjee and the cover-up of the same by Adhikari," the memorandum said.

The TMC delegation also handed over documents containing translated tweets of BJP leaders as well as photographs of Banerjee's car.

"The chairperson's car does not show even a scratch - clearly demolishing the lie that the vehicle hit an iron pillar on the road.

"In this context, we would also like to mention the unfortunate comment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 'Brigade Cholo Rally' on March 7 in which he had said 'If the scooty has decided to topple in Nandigram, what can we do?" the memorandum stated.

After a delegation of TMC leaders met EC officials in Bengal, the poll body on Thursday sent a strongly-worded letter to the party on its memorandum over injuries to Banerjee during the campaign, saying it looks "undignified to even respond" to allegations that the poll panel is doing things in the state at the behest of a "particular party".

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