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Mamata whips Surjya hecklers

Siliguri, Nov. 24: The Trinamul Congress has removed the party’s two Darjeeling secretaries from their posts a day after its supporters roughed up health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.

Vedabrata Dutta and Deepak Sil are among nine Trinamul leaders or supporters booked by police for the incident. All of them were arrested and let out on bail.

“Dutta and Sil have been removed from their posts but they will continue to be members of the party,” said Darjeeling party chief Gautam Deb. “We will probe further to find out under what circumstances the incident happened,” he added.

Mamata Banerjee, keen to be seen as pro-development since joining the Union government, said she did not approve of the violence during the minister’s visit to discuss the upgrade of facilities at the hospital. When Mishra reached the hospital yesterday, a group led by Dutta and Sil blocked his entry and jostled him. The police had to rescue the minister.

Mamata was unhappy, though, that the police picked the duo up even after the party punished them. “The police are unnecessarily picking our men. What do they do when the CPM obstructs Opposition members?” she asked.

Sources in Trinamul said the prompt action against the Siliguri duo was an effort to instil discipline in the party.

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