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Biman: Firing unfortunate

Calcutta, Nov. 27: CPM state secretary Biman Bose today told the judicial commission probing the July 21, 1993, police firing that the deaths of 13 Youth Congress activists was “unfortunate and regrettable”.

Bose, who was interrogated by retired judge and commission chairman Susanta Chatterjee this afternoon, said: “I was not in Calcutta on July 21, 1993. But, from whatever I have learnt, some political activists died in police firing. Any death is unwanted. I think the deaths of the political activists on that day was unfortunate and regrettable.

“But I think the commission should inquire whether the firing was unprovoked or there were reasons that forced the police to do so.”

The CPM state secretary had earlier refused to depose before the commission.

Bose had then apparently told his party colleagues that he was “unnecessarily” being dragged into the controversy as he had never been part of the Left Front government.

Bose told commission chairman Chatterjee said: “I have never been an MLA or an MP. I never worked as a government functionary. I was never a minister. So, how will I be able to give evidence of what happened on July 21, 1993?”

The CPM state secretary added in the same breath that he had learnt that those who had organised the Writers’ march were armed with choppers and bombs and had planned to vandalise the state secretariat.

When Chatterjee asked how he could assertively say so despite not being present in Calcutta on the day of the incident, Bose said: “I learnt it from newspaper reports.”