SFI General Secretary Ritabrata Bhattacharjee on Wednesday apologized for the heckling of West Bengal Finance minister Amit Mitra in Delhi on April 9, but said that his organisation was not involved in it.
“I have earlier said that if there is footage of Amit Mitra being heckled by me during the protest then I will go to jail myself. But we can’t avoid our responsibility for the protest. We condemn the incident and apologize for it,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said at the condolence meeting for SFI leader Sudipto Gupta.
Referring to the death of Gupta in police custody on April 2 for which the protest was held when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the finance minister were entering Yojna Bhavan in Delhi on April 9, Mr. Bhattacharjee said, “The entire incident of Sudipto Gupto’s death was condemned by the entire country.
“But what happened outside Yojna Bhawan is against communist principles. We have earlier said that we the SFI are not involved in the incident,” he said.
The chief minister had subsequently fallen ill and had been admitted to the Belle Vue Clinic from where she was discharged on April 13.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress secretary-general Partha Chatterjee criticized the presence of Mr. Bhattacharjee at the condolence meeting.
“Courtesy demands that the accused be handed over to the police instead of allowing him to be present at a meeting here,” Mr. Chatterjee said.
“It was a murderous assault on the chief minister and the finance minister which the people of the state will never forgive,” he said.
He said despite FIR lodged with the Delhi police, none of the SFI attackers had been arrested.