Irate CM lashes out at Maneka's comment on death of Lalgarh tiger
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday reacted sharply to Union Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi's comment on the killing of the Royal Bengal tiger in Lalgarh.
Calling the incident a deliberate attempt to malign the state government, Banerjee said that Gandhi should apologise to the tribal people for her derogatory remarks. The Union minister has insulted the Adivasis, Banerjee said.
"I am saddened that a Union minister has made unwarranted comments about a community. She said that Adivasis are poachers and they torture animals. I feel she should apologise to the Adivasi community," an irate Chief Minister maintained.
She further went on to say: "I completely condemn the statements made by the Union minister. Adivasi brothers and sisters are our assets. Is she aware how many forests and deep forests are there in Bengal?" Banerjee also raised a question on how Gandhi knew that the tiger was killed by Adivasis. "Common people were living in fear for over a month. Police and Forest department officials took all measures to capture the tiger. Drones were used by the Forest department to catch the animal. Villagers who went to collect kendu leaves in the forest were also injured by the animal. Two persons are still undergoing treatment at the hospital. One should know about Bengal's culture and its people before commenting on an issue," the Chief Minister reminded.
Launching a scathing attack on the BJP, she said: "During elections they use Adivasis armed with bows and arrows. They hold Ram Navami rallies with arms. Don't they feel ashamed then? A few days ago, they had brought Adivasis from Jharkhand, armed with bows and arrows."
At a time when Dalits are being persecuted across the country, her comments reflect BJP's stand on SC/STs, Dalits, Adivasis and common people of the country, Banerjee added.
"She must apologise to the nation. Bengal has a rich culture and heritage. She has no right to insult Bengal and Adivasis. We will not tolerate it. People of Bengal will give a fitting reply," Banerjee stated.
"Did she use a telescope? A tiger died and curious people came to see it. Even when people die, relatives and others come to pay their respects. How can she compare this with Shikar Utsav? She cannot ridicule a tradition of the Adivasi community," the Chief Minister said.
It may be mentioned that Gandhi had said earlier in the day that Bengal is the only place in the country where illegal killing of wild animals is "allowed and encouraged".