Video screengrab
Video screengrab

West Bengal Labour Minister and Trinamool Congress MLA Jakir Hossain was seriously injured on Wednesday after unidentified assailants launched a crude bomb at him. According to reports, two others who were with the MLA also sustained injuries. The incident took place late at night while he was waiting at the Nimtita railway station in Murshidabad district to board a train back to Kolkata.

An ANI report quoted sources to say on Thursday that the West Bengal CID was taking over the case.

Initial reports had indicated that the TMC leader suffered "injuries on his legs and lower abdominal part" and that doctors were working to stabilise him before shifting him to Kolkata. Later updates revealed that the minister is now out of danger. According to the superintendent of the Murshidabad Medical College, Hossain is now stable. One of his hands and one leg sustained injuries.

Chilling video footage of the attack shows the official walking with a large number of people in his wake, cheering for him. Abruptly a flash of roiling flames takes over the screen. The unknown individual taking the footage appears to have dropped the phone, and the remainder of the clip shows smoke and flames billowing upwards, even as someone can be heard screaming repeatedly in the background.

The incident has provoked criticism from all quarters, with West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar hitting out at the Mamata Banerjee-led state government and asking the administration to take steps to curb the "increasing rise in violence."

Others including Union Minister Piyush Goyal and National General Secretary and Central Observer for West Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya have expressed hope for Hossain's speedy recovery.

With accusations flying, it remains unclear as to who might have been behind the attack. While some have held political opponents of the TMC responsible, others claim that the attack was the result of an internal feud.

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Free Press Journal