Stating that Bengal is a land of “peace and prosperity”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed the administration to deal with the existing situation firmly as attempts are being made to disturb communal harmony of the state by distributing money and instigating a community of people.
She also urged the people to be cautious so that no more bloodshed takes place in Junglemahal where peace was restored after change of the guard in the state.
While addressing a programme organised by the district authorities in Bankura at Khatra, which was once a Maoist stronghold, the Chief Minister said that money was given to a group of people to incite tension by claiming themselves of two different communities.
Taking a jibe at the Centre in this connection, the Chief Minister said: “They are creating rivalry among people when they cannot provide rice to all.”
She said: “It is not the task of a political party to decide which people from which community will stay in a village. This is the land of all religions and everyone will continue to stay here together.”
Urging people to stand strong against any attempt to create riot in an area, the Chief Minister said: “This cannot continue. This is not the place for riots. People should not be divided along their religions. Attempts were made to give communal colours to even minor incidents in a locality. Even after road accidents, attempts are made to create tension, saying that driver of the vehicle and the victim was of two different communities. There is police to probe into a road accident.”
“I will also ask the administration to deal with the situation firmly. No anarchy will be tolerated,” she said.
In connection with Junglemahal, she said: “Once tension prevailed in places including Raipur, Sarenga, Khatra and Taldangra. Many people used to come here from adjacent villages in Jharkhand by crossing the border and many people were killed. Today, peace has been restored and massive development work took place in the areas. The peace will continue to prevail. I would urge the people of the area not to allow anyone to create fresh trouble here and there should be no more bloodshed.”
She said: “Anil Mahato, a popular Trinamool Congress leader in the area, was killed a few days ago. The accused has been arrested. We want that the accused get punished.”
Talking about development projects, she said that a project worth Rs 2,800 crore had been taken up in the lower basin of Damodar that would help the people in Howrah, Hooghly, Bankura and Burdwan. “Jalatirtha” project has been taken up for better irrigation in 32,000 hectres and 800 check dams will be set up at a cost of Rs 500 crore in Bankura, Midnapore, Birbhum and Purulia. Rs 3,000 crore will be spent to construct an alternate road that will connect south Bengal districts including Bankura and Burdwan with North Bengal.
She also wished the people a “very happy and prosperous New Year” and wished good luck to students from Bankura for their forthcoming Madhyamik and Higher Secondary examinations.
During the programme, the Chief Minister also inaugurated the Sabuj Shree project in Bankura. As per the project, saplings will be distributed among families with newborn girl children. The state Forest department will distribute around 15 lakh saplings every year for the project.