Some senior Trinamool leaders asked me to go in hiding: Iqbal
In an explosive statement, arrested Trinamool Congress leader Mohammad Iqbal alias Munna — prime accused in the murder of a Special Branch officer of Kolkata Police — told mediapersons on Friday that he was directed to run away from the city and take cover elsewhere for sometime, by some senior TMC leaders.
Mohammad Iqbal — a Trinamool councillor, a Kolkata Municipal Borough committee chairman and a right hand man of a Trinamool Congress cabinet minister — was arrested late Thursday night from Dehri on Sone in Bihar and was produced in a court at Gaya on Friday. The magistrate allowed the CID team to take him to Kolkata on transit remand.
At the court premises, Munna told mediapersons: "I did not run away after the incident. I was there in Garden Reach area for four days after the incident. On February 17, I fled from there as I was instructed by some senior TMC leaders to go in hiding. Since then I have been running from one place to another to evade arrest."
On February 12, an unarmed sub-inspector Tapas Choudhury was shot dead during a clash between Congress and Trinamool supporters at Hari Mohan Ghosh College in Garden Reach in Kolkata when nomination forms for student union elections were being distributed.
The admission by the TMC councillor that he was asked to go in hiding by the party leadership is significant as state Urban Development Minister and local MLA Firhad Hakim has been accused of openly shielding him. Firhad hakim, who is at present the closest aide of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, defended Munna immediately after the incident claiming that "Munna is innocent" and he does not "believe" that Munna is involved in the incident of violence. Even though the TV grabs of the incident continuously aired on the day clearly showed Munna inciting violence in the area, Hakim claimed that the TV footage was "super imposed".
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