Kolkata: Today, Chief Minister of West Bengal and Trinamool Congress’s head Mamata Banerjee surprised many by acknowledging the menace of Bangladeshi infiltrators. While blaming them for the recent communal riots in Baduria of Basirhat, she stunned the audience once again by making associating them with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It is arguably the first occasion in Indian politics when the so-called Hindu nationalist party has been accused of harbouring Muslim extremists. The chief minister was speaking to a group of journalists at the Chief Minister’s Office located at Nabanna.
Banerjee said that she had received information that they were Bangladeshi infiltrators who had provoked and participated in the riots of Baduria and adjoining areas. She said that the BJP and the Union government enjoyed a cordial relationship with these infiltrators! Banerjee said she was mulling over setting up a judicial inquiry into the matter.
The chief minister alleged that weapons have been supplied to encourage the rioters and then thanked the people of Basirhat and Baduria for ignoring the incitement.
Banerjee took on the media as well. She said a certain media house was passing off a video of some incident in the Comilla district of Bangladesh as an incident of West Bengal. She also slammed the Facebook users who were misleading the people by claiming that a scene from some Bhojpuri film was an illustration of the reality of West Bengal. She said the proposed judicial inquiry would set the record straight. She offered further the refrain, “The law will take its course.”
The chief minister accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of vandalising the TMC office in Basirhat. Banerjee cocked a snook at the Durga Vahini of the Sangh and questioned why women should be given weapons training.
During the press conference, the chief minister blamed the BJP for fuelling tension in the hills of Darjeeling, too. “Bengal is a sensitive place. The State shares its borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal; with Sikkim which, in turn, is adjacent to China. There is a planned conspiracy to disturb the peace of this region,” Banerjee said.
It has been a month, the chief minister said, but she couldn’t bring normalcy back to Darjeeling. She blamed the Centre for the disturbed state of affairs in the hills. She claimed that the Centre denied her reinforcements of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). She said that the 7 companies of troops that had been sent to West Bengal had 2 companies of women soldiers and three of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
Banerjee said that the hills were not peaceful yet and that the centres of education in the region were still shut. Addressing the Union government, she said, “Let the boys and girls study. Send food to the hills.”
The chief minister said that talks with the agitating Gorkha Janmukti Morcha depended on the latter. “If they want talks, we will have the talks within 10-12 days.” She appealed to the sundry political groups in the hills to return to turn peaceful again.