Kolkata, (IANS) In a veiled attack on the BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said a political party was smuggling in firearms and bombs and bringing hired goons to trouble-torn Birbhum district to foment violence.
Against the backdrop of a chain of political disturbances in Birbhum where the dominance of the ruling Trinamool Congress has been violently challenged by Bharatiya Janata Party activists for over two years, Banerjee said she wanted peace to prevail in the district and won’t allow “capturing” of villages.
“I want peace to prevail in Birbhum. We won’t allow anything like capturing of villages as was seen during Singur and Nandigram operations (by the erstwhile Left Front government),” she said while on a tour to Birbhum to preside over an administrative meeting.
“I don’t want to name any political party. They are bringing in hired goons and smuggling firearms and bombs. We won’t tolerate the muscle-flexing by goons,” Banerjee told the media.
The chief minister asked police to stop the hired miscreants.
“If they have not done so, they will now have to. The director general of police (G.M.P. Reddy) is here. He has heard everything. So I am sure he will do the needful.”
Asked about homeless people in the district’s Parui area, she said the administration will make arrangements to ensure they returned home.
Banerjee said police have been told to recover weapons from troubled spots.
“Just because I am involved with a party, I can’t take the law in my hands, irrespective of which political party I am in. Even if it is my political party, I condemn that.”
Queried about police arresting and framing non-bailable charges against a woman from Sattor village – a relative of a BJP worker – who had earlier accused police of torturing her, Banerjee said: “There must be something. Otherwise why should police act thus?”
Pressed on the issue, the chief minister said: “Well, I cannot satisfy you. But I have replied to your query.”
When journalists referred to the woman’s statement that it was impossible for her to make bombs as alleged, as police were posted outside her house round the clock, Banerjee shot back: “So what? Are police posted inside her house round the clock?
“How do I know who comes to her house? So what if a camp is there? Will police keep a vigil on her relatives entering her house? Police are there to provide her security.”
Facing a barrage of questions from the media, the chief minister lost her cool. “Don’t talk nonsense. Please don’t tell all these to me. Don’t mislead.”