Bombs hurled at West Bengal’s deputy labour minister Zakir Hossain

News Desk: West Bengal’s deputy labour minister Zakir Hossain sustained bomb injuries along with at least a dozen Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers around 9.45 pm outside Nimtita railway station in Murshidabad district when several bombs were hurled at him by unidentified people.

The minister sustained injuries on the left side, mainly on the leg.

No police official commented on the incident till 11.15 pm but the TMC’s Murshidabad district unit president Abu Taher Khan said Hossain was rushed to the Jangipur government hospital and would be shifted a hospital in Kolkata.

This is the first incident of an attack on a Bengal minister in recent years. A huge police contingent was rushed to the spot. Hossain, who was earlier in the Congress joined the TMC and won the Jangipur assembly seat in 2016.

“Hossain had to be given numerous stitches. Doctors told us that he lost a lot of blood,” said Khan.

Khan accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of carrying out the attack.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh dismissed the allegation saying Murshidabad has become a haven for criminals. “The minister could be a victim of infighting in the TMC prior to the assembly polls,” said Ghosh.

Elections in Bengal will be held in March-April and violence is regularly taking place in several parts of the state.

In Murshidabad district, Muslims comprise 66.28 % of the population, the highest among all districts in Bengal.

“Hossain is also a businessman and industrialist. He had gone to a bidi factory that he owns at Suri. His car was bombed when he was going to the station to catch a Kolkata-bound train at 10.30 pm. He was supposed to attend a meeting of chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday. We met at a meeting in the morning. He did not talk of any threat to his life but we suspect the BJP. The Congress, BJP and Left had joined hands against the ruling party in my district,” Khan said.

Congress state president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury described Hossain as a “hardworking and honest politician.”

“Hossain is a very honest and hardworking businessman who worked hard to establish his career. I have heard of infighting in the TMC. Only a police investigation can unearth the truth. I demand a thorough probe and arrest of the culprits,” said Chowdhury.