Not all Rohingyas terrorists: CM
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asserted that all Rohingyas are not terrorists even as the Central government stuck to its stand of deporting the embattled community and said that some of them were linked to Pakistani terrorist groups.
"All commoners are not terrorists. Some may be terrorists and they will be considered as terrorists. There is a distinction between terrorists and commoners. In every community, there can be good people and bad ones but a community is a community," Banerjee said here.
The Central government told the Supreme Court not to interfere in the Rohingya issue as it was a policy decision to deport them and that some of them were linked to Pakistani terrorist groups.
As the Apex Court heard a petition challenging their deportation to Myanmar, the central government told the judges this was an "essential executive" decision taken in the larger national interest.
The Trinamool Congress supremo, however, said innocents should not suffer.
"If any terrorist is there, the government has to take action against them but the commoners should not suffer. This is humanity. If commoners suffer, humanity will suffer," she added. Banerjee said the Central government has asked the state government to formulate a list of the refugees.
"They (Central government) asked us to list out the children and others and send the list, for deportation. Our child commission does not agree to it," she further said.
Speaking at a press briefing after holding a half-an-hour meeting with estranged GJM leader Binay Tamang and others at the state Secretariat (Nabanna) on Monday, the Chief Minister also spoke about a tripartite meeting on September 21 in Siliguri. Discussions would include reopening of the tea gardens in the Hills after resolving the issues related to the pending bonus of the workers.
Mamata Banerjee also announced the presence of the labour commissioner, tea garden owners and representatives of the workers' unions and associations at the meeting.
The final settlement over clearing the pending bonus of 2016 before the Durga Puja and reopening of the tea gardens will be taken during the tripartite meeting.
In the last discussion with the Chief Minister, Tamang had raised the issue related to the poor condition of the tea garden workers who are yet to get bonus for 2016. He had also urged the state government to take initiatives to reopen the tea gardens which have been shut for the past three months due to the strike.
Banerjee further said: "Our Chief Secretary held a meeting today (Monday) with tea garden owners and representatives of the workers' associations. He told them that they must clear the bonus for the financial year 2016-17 and take steps to reopen the gardens."
She further said that "some other action would be taken" if the bonus is not given but also added: "I am confident that the matter will get resolved in the tripartite meeting."
The Chief Minister said: "I have also asked them (Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa) about the present situation in the Hills. We always want restoration of peace and it would be beneficial for all including the students. I have also spoken to the state Education minister regarding the admission in North Bengal University."
She added that the situation has attained normalcy to a great extent in the Hills. "People have joined work," she said.
Tea garden owners asked to resume operations
Kolkata: The CM on Monday said tea garden owners in the Darjeeling hills have been asked to resume operations and pay bonus dues to workers for 2016-17. Mamata Banerjee indicated action if bonus was not paid to the workers. "We do not want to take any action but hope a decision will be taken in the said meeting," she said. All tea plucking and manufacturing operations at the 87 tea gardens in Darjeeling have remained suspended since June 9 due to the indefinite shutdown called by the GJM in the region in support of their demand for a separate Gorkhaland.