Won't tolerate attacks on workers: CM
Kotshila (Purulia): Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made it amply clear on Tuesday while addressing a public meeting here that she will never tolerate attacks on workers from Bengal who might have migrated to other states in search of work. She also stated that if they feel threatened and want to return, they are most welcome to do so and her government can even give them work for 200 days a year.
The Chief Minister's comments came five days after Afrajul Khan, 49, a construction worker from Malda, was brutally killed by a youth Sambhu Lal Regar and his body set ablaze in Rajasthan in an act of hate crime. The video of Khan showing him continuously hit despite begging for his life, and finally his body being set on fire, went viral and shocked the nation.
A similar case happened in Kerala where a youth from Bankura district, Hemanta Roy, was found dead with his throat slit. He had been working there for the past three months as an electrician.
In her speech, Banerjee also lashed out at the BJP and said in the states like Rajasthan and Gujarat ruled by the saffron party, Muslims are not the only ones facing attack. "Besides Muslims, they are also targeting the Christians, Dalits and tribals. But such incidents don't take place here and everyone is secured in Bengal," she claimed.
"We do not discriminate between Firhad Hakim or Shantiram Mahato or between Sandhyarani Tudu and Mamata Banerjee," she remarked.
Attacking the BJP, she said not a single leader of the party could be seen when Maoists had attacked the people of Purulia. People could not come out of their homes and people did not come here because of fear. But now the situation has changed and peace has been restored in Purulia. "The people of Purulia were suffering and I had come and stood beside them in their times of distress. Now, the leaders are circulating lies and canard to raise funds."
She also added that the BJP leaders had turned Jharkhand into a mess. "It is rich in natural resources but because of faulty planning, no development is taking place. There would have been tremendous progress had it been under the Trinamool Congress," she remarked. Banerjee said despite financial constraints, Purulia has witnessed great development in the past few years. New sub-divisions have come up and district administration is carrying out the all-round development of the area. She added that plans have been chalked out to resolve the scarcity of drinking water in some drought-prone areas of Purulia. A project worth Rs 2,668 crore has been taken to facilitate irrigation in lower Damodar basin, she pointed out.
The Chief Minister also urged the businessmen to invest in Raghunathpur and its adjoining areas. "Land is not a problem and the state government will help them to set up industries." She announced the construction of an Industrial Corridor connecting Dankuni with Purulia via Burdwan and Durgapur. "Once this corridor is constructed, there will be more industries along it."
Banerjee spoke in detail about the various projects taken up by the state government and how they had helped the beneficiaries. She said the state government has given Rs 2 a kilo of rice and wheat to around 8.5 crore people. Nearly 60 lakh bicycles have been distributed among the students of Classes IX to XII of state-run, state-sponsored and aided schools. She said the state government will carry on with the project. Under Kanyashree and Sikshashree, students from all caste and sects have been given scholarships. She said the Kurmi Development and Cultural Board has been allotted Rs 10 crore and the Manbhum Cultural Academy's construction will start soon.
"Purulia has come up as a major tourist spot and people are visiting this place regularly. This is a sign of improvement," she said adding that she will come to Ajodhya and its neighbourhood within the next two to three months.