West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that the BJP brought in hoodlums armed with bombs in trains from outside the state to foment trouble during its march to the state secretariat Nabanna.
Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, said the police could have opened fire on “violent” BJP protesters during the protest march on Tuesday, but the government exercised “maximum” restraint.
"Many police personnel were brutally attacked by the participants of that rally... Police could have opened fire, but our administration showed maximum restraint," she said during an administrative meeting at Nimtouri in Purba Medinipur district.
During the rally, BJP supporters fought pitched battles with the police, threw stones at them, torched a vehicle and damaged a kiosk while the cops used batons and water cannons to disperse the protesters. Several persons from both sides were injured in the melee.
The CM said the protest march inconvenienced commuters and traders, as it was held barely a few weeks ahead of Durga Puja, the state’s biggest festival.
"We have nothing against democratic and peaceful protests. But the BJP and its supporters resorted to violence, vandalism and arson. They torched properties and instilled fear among people. We won't allow this. Arrests are being made, and law will take its own course," she said.
Addressing the meeting, Banerjee also asked the youth to get themselves trained in technical schools such as Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) as, she said, the state is emerging as a destination for skill-based industries.
She said the state has over 400 polytechnic institutes and ITIs and the youths can acquire skills in their chosen spheres from there. "Many industries are coming to the state and they require skilled manpower. Bengal is rapidly emerging as the destination for such ventures,” the CM said.
There should be no issues that can jeopardise the investment climate in Purba Medinipur district, Banerjee said.“There should not be any malpractice in allotting land for the development of Haldia. The industrial scenario should be peaceful,” she added.
The CM said that funds allocated to the Zilla Parishad should be spent properly."I have asked MLAs and Zilla Parishad functionaries, who attended a meeting yesterday at Kharagpur, to work expeditiously for implementing government schemes, and ensure they do not get mired in red tape. We have to be on the side of the people," she said.
She said 30 universities and 14 new medical colleges have come up in West Bengal in the past few years. Banerjee, who virtually inaugurated several development projects including a beautification drive in the sea resort towns of Digha and Mandarmani, said the state government was turning them into international places.
Observing that there has been a spurt in road accidents in the district in recent times, the chief minister said a mechanism was evolved to deal with those issues.“Once an IPS officer is transferred to another post, he should leave a note to his successor which would help the new officer make the mechanism better," the CM said adding that she wants a report on if this drill is adhered to.
Banerjee also voiced concern over the rise in dengue cases."Please run awareness campaigns on dengue, malaria and other vector-borne diseases more frequently," she directed the district officials.
The chief minister asked the Durga Puja committees of Purba Medinipur district to update their details in the registration process to get the government’s grant. "There are many clubs that have not done so. Please follow rules. There is a tendency (among some people) to file PILs,” she said.
The West Bengal government has decided to extend a grant of Rs 60,000 each to over 40,000 Durga puja committees in the state. Several Public Interest Litigations (PILs) were filed in the Calcutta High Court against this.The court, however, on Tuesday said that it is not inclined to interfere in the government’s decision.
(With PTI Inputs)