In a controversial statement, West Bengal Cabinet Minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah on Friday asked his followers to take the law into their own hands, while expressing disbelief in the efficiency of the state's police force.
Mollah's comments come in the backdrop of an assassination attempt on one of his trusted lieutenants, Mizanul Alam.
Mollah came down heavily on the police and said, “I know for sure that the police would not be able to do anything in the case. It is up to us to search and find the people behind the attack and deliver justice to them.”
“We won't get justice, if we only depend on the police,” he added.
Alam, a member of the Bhangore Panchayat Samiti in South 24 Parganas, is a close confidant of Mollah, the longest serving MLA of West Bengal and one of the longest serving ministers in previous Left Front government.
Alam was shot at on his way back home from his office in Bhangore on July 23. However, he survived the attack after villagers rushed him to a nearby hospital.
Mollah was angry that no arrests were made in connection with the attack even after a week. He visited Bhangore on Friday and told the people that he had directed the police to speed up the investigation into the case.
“But if they (police) fail to catch the persons behind the attack, it will be our responsibility to find the criminals and teach them a lesson,” he said.
Senior Trinamool Congress leaders contacted by THE WEEK refused to comment on Mollah's controversial remarks.
A leader, however, said, “Rezzak Da should not make such comments in public. He would be issued a warning letter. We have already taken up the matter with the chief minister.”
Mollah is no stranger to controversy. He had repeatedly embarrassed his former party, CPI(M) and criticised leaders like Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Nirupam Sen when he was a minister in the Left Front government.