fifty years ago April 1, 1970 Archives

From the Archives (April 1, 1970): Jyoti Basu shot at in Patna.

Mr. Jyoti Basu, Marxist leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of West Bengal, escaped with a minor injury on his little finger after an unknown assailant had fired at him at Patna Railway Junction this morning. But the bullet killed Mr. Ali Imam, a Life Insurance Corporation employee. Police announced that they had taken into custody one Surendra Prasad on suspicion. On interrogation by Mr. R. Sinha, Inspector-General of Police, and Mr. Robi Roy, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Prasad is reported to have said that he had come to Patna on an errand in a self-driven car with a West Bengal number plate. An earlier report that the driver of the car, which has also been seized, was some other person and had not been taken into custody was not confirmed by the police who said only Surendra Prasad had been arrested. As the assailant’s hand shook as he drew the revolver, he could not take proper aim at Mr. Basu, according to eye witnesses. Quickly recovering from the initial shock, Mr. Basu was seen pointing a finger and heard shouting “catch him, catch him (assailant). I am alright.”

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