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Probe Rafale files 'theft': CM

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanded a thorough investigation into the "theft" of Rafale documents from the office of the Ministry of Defence and stated that it was a matter of serious concern for the whole country.

Talking to newsmen on Thursday, she wondered how such an important document could be stolen from the Union Defence ministry. The Centre has not filed any FIR regarding the matter yet. "We demand a thorough inquiry into the same. Such irresponsible act of the government has ashamed us. Where is our country's safety and security?" she questioned.

She said under such a "callous" government, the country was in deep trouble. "The Centre cannot get away with the statement that somebody has stolen the documents. It is a very serious issue. The quicker this government goes the better it is for this country," she said. The Chief Minister further added: "Where is our country heading to? The Attorney General is telling before the Supreme Court about the 'theft' of documents in the Rafale deal. This has never happened in the past."

Earlier in the day, she tweeted in Hindi and described the incident as 'tamasha' (drama) and hinted that its fallout would be known after the Lok Sabha elections.

"What drama is going on in the country? Documents are being stolen from the Ministry of Defence itself. This is a very dangerous situation for the country. What is the government's opinion on this? Who is the main culprit behind this? There must be a probe into this."

She asked the people to "wait for sometime as general election results would come out soon".

Supporting N Ram, chairman of the Hindu Publishing Group, Banerjee said: "We support Ram for exposing this government. I have profound respect for some senior journalists like N Ram, Pranay Roy who can express their views fearlessly. Invoking Official Secrets Act to threaten journalists is a shame." She further said that now any journalist who was writing against the BJP was abused and heckled. "Look at the national channels in Delhi. BJP has purchased them and they write stories to confuse people. They are run by people whose primary goal is business and publication of news is secondary."

Recollecting her experience as a Central minister, she said: "Arun Shourie who was then with The Indian Express used to file reports exposing the Centre. There were politicians like George Fernandes and Madhu Dandavate who used to raise those issues in Parliament. She reiterated that under the BJP rule, most of the media houses were scared and anyone opposing them would be taken to task. "Such a thing cannot go on for long. It is most unfortunate."

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