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CM slams law & order allegations

She says those questioning law and order situation in Bengal should look at UP and Gujarat; GTA given Rs 175 crore

MANAS R BANNERJEE | Siliguri |

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today asked people who have been questioning the law and order situation in Bengal to look at other states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

Addressing an administrative review meeting for three districts of North Bengal at Uttarkanya here, Miss Banerjee said: “A group has been bullying (gundami). Those who have been criticizing others are also bullying them. Whoever is questioning the law and order issue in Bengal should look at Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Bengal is safe and peaceful as compared to other states in India.”

According to political observers, the CM’s remarks were very significant, as it comes at a time when there is a burning issue centering the Hathras gang-rape case in Uttar Pradesh, where the UP police allegedly cremated the rape victim after her death forcibly.

On some issues in Cooch Behar, Miss Banerjee also criticised the Border Security Force (BSF).

“The BSF frequently opens fire, killing innocent people. BSF keeps control over interior villages by threatening villagers, though that is not their duty,” Miss Banerjee said, adding, “There is a need to keep a close eye on the practice. Police should keep monitoring the villages, but they instead allow BSF to keep such control. We need to stop smuggling along the IndiaBangladesh border.”

Though Miss Banerjee yesterday claimed that the “yield is less despite massive development,” in north Bengal, she today announced several development work for the region and laid the foundation stone for the Jalpaiguri Medical College and Hospital and other projects in Darjeeling Hills, Kalimpong and Cooch Behar.

Notably, the CM is still upset after having failed to retain Lok Sabha seats in North Bengal, while keeping an eye on the next Assembly elections, she has stressed on the need to complete all revised and targeted jobs by 31 January 2021.

Very significantly, the CM today handed over papers for 104 acres of land to the Bagdogra Airport Director, which will be used for the airport’s expansion project.

The state government also allotted Rs 175 crore to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and funds for other projects, including the renovation of the Graham Chapel at Dr Graham’s Homes School in Kalimpong. On the other hand, the CM handed over an honorarium to Hirendranath Bhattacharya, the chief priest of the Madan Mohan Temple in Cooch Behar, and renamed the present medical college there. According to Miss Banerjee, the college has been remaned as Maharaja Jitendra Narayan Government Medical College and Hospital following requests from many quarters.

“Whoever frequently says that North Bengal is being deprived is doing politics. We did a lot for the region, providing several schemes from ‘birth to death,’ but ‘ unfortunately’ the massive development could not yield better results,” the CM said.