With pressure mounting on West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim for his alleged role in shielding some on those involved in the February 12 violence and the killing of a police officer at Garden Reach in Kolkata, the Trinamool Congress has removed him as government spokesman.
"Hakim has been asked to keep a low profile. He used to brief the media on behalf of the government under the instruction of chief minister Mamata Banerjee. But from now on he won't be speaking on the behalf of the government," a senior Trinamool Congress leader, who did not wish to be identified, told PTI.
Asked to comment on the opposition demand for the removal of Hakim after Governor M K Narayanan said that he did not have any business to do it, the leader said, "He is a cabinet minister. Any decision on a cabinet minister will have to be taken by the chief minister."
Hakim has been accused of shielding Mohammed Iqbal, a Trinamool Councillor of Garden Reach, who is said to be a close to him.
Iqbal has been absconding since Tuesday night with the CID, entrusted with probing the killing, looking for him.