West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday condemned the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh and said she was killed because of her “hard-hitting writing”. Banerjee said this after launching the Indian Express health magazine in Kolkata. She also took part in the round table discussion on ‘Healthy Living in Corporate Life’ organised by The Indian Express at a city hotel.
“Mentally I am not well today. I am very sad to hear that a renowned journalist Gauri Lankesh was murdered yesterday. Whatever I have been told is that she was killed because of her hard-hitting writing. We feel very sad and condemn this. It is a very sad of affairs. Sometimes we must condemn this kind of atrocities,” Banerjee said while delivering her address.
Without taking the name of NDA government, Banerjee slammed it for not taking care of all citizens of the country and working to protect the interest of a particular community. “We prefer positive attitude. You have to take care of everyone. Everyone is a citizen of the country. I cannot say I will only see the white colour and cannot see the black colour. I have to see everyone. They are not taking care of the down-trodden, the businessman even the traders. They are only taking care of a particular community. Please excuse me if I am wrong…. it is my freedom of expression. I have to say this after the death of Gauri Lankesh. This is happening because of a single point…. to divide the people, to divide the humanity,” the Chief Minister added.
Banerjee also criticised a section of the media for not covering the swine flu deaths in Gujarat. “About 400 people have died in Gujarat due to swine flu in 4-5 months. Nobody knows this because media is not playing their roles. In Bengal, 0.1 per cent will sound like anything to the media. But if it happens in other parts of the country where some ruling party from the Centre is in power, they will touch the matter. It is not that I am criticising the media but people must know the facts,” she said.
Referring to Gorakhpur children death incident, the Chief Minister also said that it was “crime” to let children die due to lack of supply of the oxygen. “In the children die due to lack of oxygen. Don’t you think it is a crime? If a particular government cannot supply the oxygen to the babies…. Then I do not know what to say. Charity begins at home,” Banerjee said.