Welcoming the leader (right) at Dumdum Airport by his wife (centre) and sister in law on his return from Patna on April 01, 1970, next day of the incident.
Hundreds of thousand of links to Jyoti Basu on the websites, there is no reference to a historical incident of his life. It also has no mention in the biographies of the leader. The leader narrowly escaped a bullet in Patna on March 31 1970.
Veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu, who passed away on January 17, 2010 (Sunday), had a brush with death in Patna four decades ago. He had a narrow escape when a bullet fired at him missed its intended target and a CPM sympathiser fell victim.
The incident occurred in the morning of March 31, 1970, at platform no. 1 of Patna Junction. A handful of people had gathered there to receive Basu, who had arrived by Delhi Express. As the supporters were handing him bouquets, a shot was fired and it hit Ali Imam, who had come forward to shake hands with the leader. Imam died on the spot.
“The incident shocked Basu terribly and the bouquets fell off his hands,” recalled CPM activist P K Shukla, who was not present on the platform that day but attended a meeting addressed by Basu later. After the incident, Basu first visited Imam’s residence and then went to the meeting where he spoke about the incident, Shukla recalled.
Source : Times of India