Trinamool Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee, who passed away at the age of 75 on Thursday, was a free spirit and was scared of nothing — almost nothing. The late West Bengal minister was afraid of ghosts and told everyone he knew about it. Many have heard a spooky story about Kolkata’s Writers’ Building from him more than once.
Mukherjee was quite young at the time and was part of the-then West Bengal chief minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray’s cabinet. He was in charge of the state’s information and culture department. The country was in a state of Emergency. It was mandatory for every newspaper to get its pages approved by government representatives before printing them. The clearances were given by the ministers and officers themselves. Mukherjee returned home that day after completing his work as per the rules. Then, after having dinner, he came back to the Writers’ Building at about 8.30pm. His room was on the third floor at the time.
According to the story narrated many times by Mukherjee, he went up by the VIP lift. There were usually police personnel present. Mukherjee came out of the lift and saw a policeman. The minister’s eyes went towards the feet of the cop. They weren’t on the ground. The constable was floating about a foot above in the air.
Mukherjee rushed to his room. Police officers were called there. They then informed him that no one was posted on the third floor that day. After that incident, Subrata Mukherjee would not come to the Writers’ Building at night.
The late politician also went to attend a cabinet meeting in Darjeeling in June 2016. Arrangements were made for stay at the local palace. Mukherjee, however, warned minister of state Jyotipriya Mallick that there were ghosts in the palace and he would not stay there alone.
There are many more such stories about Subrata Mukherjee. But he is no longer around to narrate or substantiate them. The tales, nevertheless, will be told and retold for years to come.