Firing on Mamata Banerjee's 1993 march worse than Jallianwalla Bagh massacre: Panel

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Kolkata, Dec 29: The Commission of Enquiry looking into the 1993 firing on a march towards the Writers' Building which houses the state secretariat said on Monday that the act was worse than the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre of 1919. The panel submitted its report to the West Bengal government on Monday.

Mamata Banerjee, the current chief minister and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief led the march (she was the president of the Youth Congress then) when the police opened fire about a kilometre from the Writer's Building, killing 13 people and injuring several others. A total of 75 rounds of bullets were fired on that fateful day, dated July 21.

mamata-banerjee

The Enquiry Commission led by Justice (Retd) Sushanta Chatterjee Commission said in its report that the police need not open fire on the protesters and also blamed the Kolkata Police control room officers who were on duty during the tragedy.

Former chief minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had justified the police act earlier this year, saying they had no other option but to fire to prevent the secretariat from being "captured". Jyoti Basu was the chief minister of Bengal at the time of the July 21 firing on the Youth Congress workers. Mamata Banerjee and her TMC has been celebrating the day as Martyrs' Day in Kolkata every year since then.

The Enquiry Commission was formed to probe the firing incident.

Banerjee called for the march demanding that voter photo-ID cards be made mandatory for free and fair polling.

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