Kolkata, July 21 (IANS) In an effort to counter the Trinamool Congress which held a massive martyrs’ rally here on Tuesday, the West Bengal unit of the Congress organised a street corner protest demanding punishment to those responsible for the police firing that killed 13 Congress supporters on this day in 1993.
With police declining permission to the Congress to stage a rally, party leaders took out a procession and spoke briefly from atop a mini-truck at the Hazra crossing, close to the residence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Speaking on the occasion, state Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury accused Banerjee of stifling democracy and said she was playing politics with martyrs.
Banners on the vehicles carrying Congress supporters demanded strict punishment for those responsible for the firing on July 21, 1993.
In an indirect reference to state power minister Manish Gupta, who was the home secretary 22 years back, Chowdhury said one of those responsible for the firing was now an important cabinet minister.
Immediately after assuming power in May 2011, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government constituted the July 21 Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice (retd) Sushanta Chatterjee to ascertain who issued the order to police to open fire at the rally spearheaded by Banerjee, then a Youth Congress leader.
Terming it “worse than the Jallianwala Bagh massacre”, the commission last December said in its report that the firing was “unprovoked and unconstitutional” and held responsible the people at the helm of the state home department and police top brass for the firing on Youth Congress activists who had organised a Writers’ Buildings (state secretariat) blockade agitation.
Unlike in the past, Banerjee remained mum on the report on the first July 21 rally after the commission submitted its findings.