Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal's Minister for Labour, Jakir Hossain was seriously injured after unidentified assailants hurled a crude bomb at him. At least two others who were with the MLA also sustained injuries. The incident took place while they were waiting at platform number two of the Nimtita railway station in Murshidabad district around 10 pm on Wednesday.
An official of the hospital had said that the minister suffered "injuries on his legs and lower abdominal part. We are trying to stabilise him before shifting him to a hospital in Kolkata." Later reports that quoted the Superintendent of the Murshidabad Medical College say Hossain is now out of danger. "His condition is stable. One of his hands has been plastered. He is out of danger now," Dr Amiya Kumar Bera said.
The news has provoked reactions from people across party lines. While TMC leader Malay Ghatak held "political rivals of the party" responsible for the attack, Sabhadhipati of Murshidabad Zilla Parishad Mosharaf Hossain, who was expelled from the TMC earlier in the day, claimed that it is the result of the party's internal feud.
Others, including West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, have hit out at the Mamata Banerjee-led state government over the issue. "Attack on WB Minister Jakir Hossain at Nimtita railway station, Murshidabad, reprehensible. Concerned at increasing rise in violence that has no place in a democracy. Time @WBPolice @HomeBengal administration @MamataOfficial to act fast as per law," he tweeted.
Union Railway Minister and BJP leader Piyush Goyal also reacted to the situation. "I condemn the dastardly bomb attack at Nimtita Railway Station in West Bengal. My prayers are for the quick recovery of the injured," Goyal tweeted.
A similar message was echoed by the party's National General Secretary and Central Observer for West Bengal, Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Meanwhile, BJP District President North Kolkata Shibaji Singha Roy sustained injuries after he along with party leaders, including Suvendu Adhikari and Shankudeb Panda, was attacked allegedly by some persons in Phoolbagan on Wednesday. He has been admitted to a hospital.
In poll-bound West Bengal, political parties are locked in a fierce battle for the 294-seat state assembly. While the ruling TMC looks to defend its position for the third time, the BJP is hoping to make a bigger impact and reinforce its influence in the eastern state. The Congress and the Left in the meanwhile have banded together to contest the poll as allies.
(With inputs from agencies)