The condition of the youth, who had slapped West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee at a rally on Sunday, was stated to be critical after he suffered multiple head injuries.
Attending doctors at the Tamluk Hospital, where he was admitted after being thrashed by Trinamool Congress workers, said the condition of Debashis Acharya was 'critical'.
The doctors said that Acharya, who has deep wounds in his head at three places and in other parts of the body was slipping in and out of consciousness. Acharya was beaten up by Trinamool Congress partymen after he slapped Banerjee, who is also the president of the Trinamool Youth Congress, at a rally at Chandipur in East Midnapore district on Sunday.
The family members of Acharya were unavailable at their house in Tamluk when visiting newsmen found it bolted from outside. Meanwhile, two persons, who were reportedly seen with Acharya at the meeting at Chandipur before he assaulted Banerjee, were detained for interrogation on Monday, a top district police officer said.
They were identified as Tamal and Pallab from Tamluk and Contai respectively, the officer said. A third person, who was also accompanying the three at the meeting, as stated by eyewitnesses, was also picked up for questioning, but later allowed to leave.
Meanwhile, Abhishek on Monday said he had forgiven the perpetrator and wished him early recovery. "At a personal level, however, let me forgive the perpetrator and wish him early recovery. Today is a new day, let us look ahead," he said in his Facebook post.
Banerjee also urged TMC workers to ‘maintain peace and harmony throughout the state and be restrained in their actions’.
"It has been about 24 hours since Sunday’s incident. What happened in Chandipur is now the subject of a police enquiry. So let me restrain myself from making any comment that will pre-judge the enquiry," he said.
"My beliefs and my will to work will not lessen because of what happened. Whoever is behind this act of cowardice has no idea what we are made of. I am now doubly committed to working for the people and doing my very best for them," he said.
Demanding a transparent probe into the incident, party leader and state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee described the incident as a ‘challenge’ for his party.
He said that the beating up of the youth was 'nothing' compared to the gravity of what he did and recalled incidents in which people were lynched after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot.
"The reaction (after the slap) is merely nothing. It was a natural one, though it would have been good if it had not happened. But we must remember that after Indira Gandhi was shot dead there were so many incidents of lynching... In this case that has not happened and even he (the accused) has not died," he stated.
Mukherjee said that the TMC would not act 'hastily' after the incident and would rather ‘fight politically’. TMC general-secretary Partha Chatterjee said that the party would hold statewide rallies to protest against the incident.
Image: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee (in waistcoat)