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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Mamata Banerjee injured as her car stops to avert collision 

Didi had gone to Burdwan for the state government’s benefit distribution programme

Snehamoy Chakraborty, Kinsuk Basu Calcutta Published 25.01.24, 06:10 AM
Mamata Banerjee (in the car) after she got injured in Burdwan on Wednesday.

Mamata Banerjee (in the car) after she got injured in Burdwan on Wednesday. PTI

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday afternoon suffered a “minor” forehead injury as the driver of her car applied emergency brakes to avoid a collision with another vehicle that suddenly came in front of her convoy in Burdwan town.

Mamata had gone to Burdwan for the state government’s benefit distribution programme. The accident took place when her convoy approached GT Road in Burdwan on her way back to Calcutta.

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Although the chief minister went to Burdwan by chopper, she had to return to Calcutta by road because of bad weather.

“I could have died today (Wednesday) if the driver of my car did not apply the brakes immediately. While I was approaching the main (GT) road from a lane, a car driven at high speed came in front of my car. As my driver applied the brakes, my head hit the dashboard. I survived because of the blessings of people,” Mamata said in front of Raj Bhavan, four hours after meeting with the accident.

“There was minor bleeding and the portion of my head (that hit the dashboard) is swollen. However, I worked despite the injury,” Mamata, a Z-plus category protectee, told reporters.

The left side of her forehead was covered with medicinal tape.

A senior police officer said the accident was deemed a breach of security by the chief minister and the East Burdwan district police chief asked to start a probe.

However, the police haven’t traced the car that appeared in front of the convoy around 2pm.

“The road from the venue in Burdwan to GT Road takes an upward climb. As the chief minister’s car was taking the ascent, a car from the opposite direction came. The (chief minister’s) driver slammed the brakes and the VIP suffered an injury,” said a senior officer of East Burdwan district police. “We have started a probe to find out how exactly this security breach occurred.”

A police source said the vehicle that came across the chief minister’s convoy could be of police or district officials.

“We will interrogate all police personnel on duty,” another officer added.

Usually, the road a Z-plus security protectee takes to attend an event is sanitised hours ahead of the arrival, senior officers said. The deployment of forces remains intact along the route till the protectee leaves the venue. Members of the Special Security Unit (SSU) covering the chief minister ensure that the protocols listed in the blue book for Z-plus protectee are fully followed.

“Apart from her car’s driver, we will speak to the senior officer in charge of manning the VIP’s line of route,” the officer said. “A preliminary report has been made for Peeyush Pandey, director of security.”

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