A day after H K Maheshwari, the CEO of Northbrook Jute Mill in Bhadreshwar, Hooghly, was battered to death by millworkers, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led members of her industry core committee, comprising cabinet ministers and several industrialists, to a meeting at an airconditioned “Glass House” on an island in Rajarhat’s Eco Tourism Park.
The pre-scheduled meeting at the unique and picturesque location was planned by the chief minister herself. Mamata, her ministers, and the industrialists, including Sanjiv Goenka, Harsh Neotia and Sanjay Jhunjhunwala, travelled in motorized country boats and a floating jetty for about 500 m to reach the venue.
Some of the industrialists are learnt to have said that incidents like Maheshwari’s lynching affected the morale of industry in the state. Mamata reportedly assured them that the government would ensure that the culprits were brought to book, and that the state did not approve of any form of militant trade unionism.
Several industrialists present at the meeting later said on condition of anonymity that it had been conveyed to the CM that the Northbrook incident did not reflect an environment of peace and stability that is essential for the growth of industry and business in the state.
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The unusual business meeting saw the deployment of the state Civil Defence Force, several contingents of the Disaster Management Group (DMG) from a special strike force of the state armed police, and personnel from the Kolkata Police.
DMG personnel were seen patrolling the water in speedboats as the CM and her entourage travelled to the “Glass House” conference venue.
Officials of the Housing Infrastructure Development Company (HIDCO), a state undertaking that manages the development of Rajarhat, said the water body was originally a marshland around which an amusement park was set up, and was named “Eco Park” by the chief minister.
The business core committee meeting was held after a long gap, the delay being attributed to the Lok Sabha elections. Sanjiv Goenka, a key member of the industry core committee who was present at the meet, later said: “The meeting was very satisfying. We have a decisive, proactive, conclusive CM. This is the kind of leadership we want.”