Kolkata, triggering a fresh controversy, Trinamool Congress member of parliament Abhishek Banerjee on Friday said the government headed by his aunt Mamata Banerjee killed Communist Party of India (Maoist) leader Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji.
“During the four year rule (of the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool government), only one person has died (in Jangalmahal). He is Maoist leader Kishenji. By killing him the Mamata Banerjee government has proved that people will have the last word,” the young leader said at a public meeting in West Midnapore district’s Belpahari.
The remarks ran counter to the chief minister’s earlier claim that Kishenji had not been killed in a pre-planned way.
“You know that we did not eliminate Kishenji in a planned way. That took place in a certain situation. I was then in Delhi. The police did not know about the death either. Had they come to know, then they would have announced it earlier,” Banerjee had told reporters at the state secretariat here months after Kishenji’s death.
“We do not want any death, whether it is of a common man or any opposition. But that thing (Kishenji’s killing in encounter) had occurred,” She had said.
Kishenji, a CPI (Maoist) politburo member, got killed in what the government claimed was an encounter with the security forces at Burisole village in the state’s West Midnapore district in November, 2011.
"When we talk about Minar, Bijoli and Chhabighar there is a lump in our throat. We had been associated with Bengali cinema for ages, from Uttam-Suchitra blockbusters in the '60S and '70s to Tarun Majumder movies starring Rituparna Sengupta in early 2000 to Jeet-Koel starrers in the recent past,"
Kolkata, Apr 15, 2017: Bengal celebrates ‘Bangla Nababarsho’ (Bengali New year) on Saturday by re-opening three iconic single screens which had been part of its film heritage for a long time.
“Bijoli and Chhabighar, a part of the psyche of the Bengali film audience and the industry, started their shows on Chaitra Sankranti day (the last day of the last Bengali month) yesterday as Friday is the release date of new film, after renovating the interiors, projection and sound system in sync with modern trends.
“Minar, the third one of the chain, will screen films from early next week as some patch work after renovation remains incomplete,” Suranjan Pal, owner of the chain told, mentioned PTI.
The action is receiving a huge support as a long line of audiences could be seen to for a new Bengali film released on ‘Nabobarsho’.
“Many single screens have been shut down or changed to plexes over the past few years. But when we talk about Minar, Bijoli and Chhabighar there is a lump in our throat. We had been associated with Bengali cinema for ages, from Uttam-Suchitra blockbusters in the ’60S and ’70s to Tarun Majumder movies starring Rituparna Sengupta in early 2000 to Jeet-Koel starrer in the recent past,” Pal said.
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“We had never felt that the audience of Bengali cinema had stopped coming to the theaters but over time we had realized the need to adapt to changes. Hence the three theaters were closed on July 1 last year. We had initially thought of introducing two screens in each theater but later on we took the challenge to stick to the one screen format,” the owner said.
“The ornate exteriors of the three theaters have been retained,” he added. In sync with the times, the show timings have been altered and different films will be screened during different shows, Pal said.
Expressing joy over the development, Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee told “Minar, Bijoli and Chhabighar had been screening films of noted directors and noted production houses. Their reopening is a very good news especially after the good show by Bengal at the National Awards this year. It (reopening) will have a feel good factor.”
Chatterjee said, with a large number of Bengali films being released these days, many of them are forced to have short runs at theaters despite doing well at the box office. The opening of three halls will give a little more space to the makers and producers of such films” he said.
Bengali hero and Trinamool Congress leader Soham Chakraborty recalled that his first film had run for weeks in Bijoli. “These three theaters are linked to the culture and heritage of Bengali cinema. But I also wish that more such prominent closed theaters lift their shutters for the audience,” he said.