New Delhi: Sharpening its attack on union railways minister Mamata Banerjee over the hijack drama of Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM on Wednesday accused her of playing a part in the hijacking. ”The matter calls for a probe. The finger of suspicion for the incident points to Mamata Banerjee. One of the ministers from her very own party went on record saying that he had prior information about the attack. The leader whose release was sought by the tribals in West Midnapore yesterday was once a member of Trinamool Congress,” party politburo leader Sitaram Yechury said.
The Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express was halted by ‘Maoist-backed tribal activists’ near West Midnapore on Tuesday but was freed by security forces after an over six hour hostage drama. They were demanding the release of PCPA (People’s Committee against Police Atrocities) chief Chattradhar Mahato who is under trial for supporting Maoists in Lalgarh.
The Congress, meanwhile, lashed out at the CPM for its ‘baseless’ accusations. “These allegations are meaningless, mindless and ridiculous,” party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said. Meanwhile, criticism of the ‘hijack’ came in from various political quarters.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar—who is a former railway minister himself - condemned the seizure of train, saying it was wrong to target national property. “This act by Maoists is against the interests of the nation and cannot be tolerated. The people of the country will suffer if the Railways are made a soft-target,” Kumar said.
Calling the Naxal attacks a war with the country, the main opposition BJP on Wednesday demanded government to come out clear on the action plan against the Naxal threat. The party said it will raise the matter and demand concrete action in the ensuing Parliament session.