BJP provoking villagers to create unrest: Goutam Deb
Darjeeling: "Those who have valid pattas (land documents) in the Gajoldoba Milanpalli area, their land will in no way be requisitioned," Tourism minister Goutam Deb assured the protesting villagers.
The minister had visited Gajoldoba on Friday to assure the villagers. However the villagers "under the influence" of the BJP instead demonstrated against the minister and waved black flags.
Despite the protests and slogan shouting, Deb walked up to the protestors to talk to them. However as they did not want to listen to him, the minister returned to the waiting vehicle. Hearing of the minister's visit to Gajoldoba, the protestors under the aegis of Bhumi Raksha Committee backed by the BJP were agitating on the Aaambari-Jagoldoba road. When the minister's cavalcade arrived at the spot the demonstrators started shouting slogans.
Instead of passing by, minister Goutam Deb got down from the vehicle and approached the agitators trying to talk to them. However they continued to shout slogans. Many of the villagers alleged that they have been indulging in cultivation in the Milanpalli area for the past 40 years. Despite many of the farmers having patta (land documents) the government is using the land for a helipad. "This area has 244 acres of government land. Out of this patta had been given for 44 acres for agriculture. Minus the patta land we still have around 200 acres of land. The land where we have given patta there is no question of requisition. Out of the land the government has we require 3.46 acres for the project. Out of this 2.45 acres will be used for the helipad and remaining 1 acre will be used for constructing quarters for the employees. Despite knowing all these details some BJP leaders from outside are constantly provoking the villagers just to create unrest and disturb the peace and tranquility," said Deb.
The minister further stated that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has always been pro-farmers. She has always been sympathetic to their needs and requirements. We have nothing against the local villagers. That is why I got down from the vehicle to talk to them. However, some outsiders tried to create disturbance and waved black flags. Later, some of them even chanted Goutam Deb Zindabad," said the Tourism minister. Later, Goutam Deb held a meeting with government officials at the conference room of "Bhorer Alo" the tourism hub at Gajoldoba. Bijoy Chandra Barman, Chairman, Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority along with MLA Raiganj Khageshwar Rai was also present.