The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mamata defends BJP

New Delhi, Aug. 5: Mamata Banerjee today rose to the defence of BJP chief whip Vijay Kumar Malhotra as the Congress and the Left parties slammed him in the Lok Sabha for criticising the National Human Rights Commission in the Best Bakery case.

The Trinamul Congress leader’s intervention came during zero hour, when Congress and CPM leaders took serious objection to his remarks that the NHRC was painting itself as an anti-Hindu body by its enthusiasm to take up the Best Bakery trial in the Supreme Court.

Stating at the outset that her party did not condone the Gujarat riots, Mamata questioned the sincerity of the CPM in criticising Malhotra. If the Left party was so genuine in its demand for a fair trial in the Best Bakery case, it should have at least allowed the CBI to investigate the Chhoto Angaria case, she said.

Mamata demanded that the NHRC should also take up the Chhoto Angaria, Dhantala and Nanoor cases to deliver justice to the families of victims and wondered why the human rights body had not done so though it has taken up the Gujarat case.

“There are so many other cases in this country which the NHRC should take care of and take to the Supreme Court,” she said.

Accusing the CPM of doublespeak — one in Delhi and another in Bengal — she said the hypocrisy should end.

CPM leader Somnath Chatterjee intervened to state that the three Bengal cases were sub-judice and, therefore, could not be discussed in the House. Mamata, however, countered that the Best Bakery case was sub-judice.

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