Express News Service
KOLKATA/ GUWAHATI: Hours after Congress MP and the party’s Assam chief Ripun Bora accused BJP’s Cooch Behar MP Nisith Pramanik, who was inducted in the council of ministers and given the minister of state (Home) portfolio, of being a Bangladeshi national and Trinamool Congress’ district president Partha Pratim Roy raised the issue asking Pramanik to come clean, unidentified miscreants barged into Roy’s house and opened fire. Though no one was injured in the incident, police are yet to ascertain whether it has any link with Roy’s role on the issue of Pramanik’s nationality.
“The attack took place at my house at Jiranpur block-I in Cooch Behar where my parents reside. On hearing the incident, I rushed there. The front gate of the premises generally remains open. My father told me a group of four-five entered the premises and opened fire. The sped away in a Maruti van. I don’t know who were behind the attack and what was their motive,” said Roy. Police recovered a cartridge from the premises of Roy’s house.
On Saturday, Roy sought clarification from Pramanik on his nationality issue. Referring to a Bangladeshi Facebook page which described the minister as a son of Bangladesh, Roy said, “As a concerned citizen, I said the Union Home MoS Nisith Pramanik should clarify the allegations whether he is the son of Cooch Behar or of Gaibandha in Bangladesh.”
The attack comes two days after Bora, referring to some media reports revealing Pramanik’s alleged Bangladesh nationality, wrote to PM Modi saying, “It is so, this is very serious matter for the country that a foreign national is appointed as a Union minister of state. Therefore, I urge upon you to conduct an inquiry about the actual birthplace and nationality of Nisith Pramanik in a most transparent way and clarify the whole issue as it creates confusion across the country.”
Quoting the reports, Bora claimed that Pramanik, first time BJP MP who defected from the TMC ahead of the 2019 general elections, was born in Harinathpur under Palasbari police station in Bangladesh’s Gaibandha district and he came to West Bengal for computer studies. He also raised the issue on his Twitter handle.
Bora also mentioned the uproar that erupted after a Bangladeshi Facebook page congratulated Pramanik on being appointed a minister of state and declared him a “son of Bangladesh”.
Corroborating Bora’s claim, even Wikipedia also says that Pramanik was born on January 17, 1986 to Bidhu Bhushan Pramanik and Chanda Pramanik in Harinathpur area of the Gaibandha district in Bangladesh and he came to India to attain a Bachelor of Computer Applications degree.
In his affidavit for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the recent Assembly elections, in which he contested from Dinhata in Coch Behar, Pramanik cited his Dinhata address and ticked ‘No’ to the mandatory question on “whether the candidate is under allegiance or adherence of any foreign country”.
BJP’s Bengal chapter rubbished Bora’s allegation. “Anyone one can raise any allegation. Onus lies on the complainant to establish his or her allegation,” said BJP’s spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya.
Bora said he did not have any evidence to suggest Pramanik is a foreigner. He said he had written to Modi to get the matter probed. He said media reports suggested Pramanik is a Bangladeshi national. “I got it in public domain, so I brought it to the PM’s notice. I demanded the Centre to clear the air by getting the matter probed,” Bora told The New Indian Express on Sunday.
He added: “It is a serious matter if a foreigner has become a minister in our country. As an MP, I thought it was my duty to bring the matter to the PM’s notice. It is up to the government to find out the truth.”