URGING VILLAGERS to keep vigil for strangers, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday told villages around the Bangladesh border in South 24 Parganas that terrorists could sneak in as friends. Addressing a public meeting at Gosaba in the district, the CM said: “They bring a lot of money and will try to lure you into doing illegal activities. They will pretend to be your friends and cause a lot of harm. This is a bordering area, which is why you need to be aware and keep a vigil. Only if you stay good, your area will and in turn your district will be fine.”
The remarks come days after the Special Task Force of the Kolkata Police arrested two alleged members of Ansarulla Bangla Team — a banned terror outfit in Bangladesh, reportedly behind the murders of bloggers in the neighbouring country — from Basirhat in North 24 Parganas. The alleged members had sneaked from Bangladesh and were trying to buy arms and ammunition, apart from raw materials for explosives from a local dealer.
Addressing the rally after attending an administrative meeting, Mamata, however, told villagers, “Don’t take law in your hands. If you find any stranger in the area, ask for his or her identity card and then if need be, inform police. I must ask police officers to take prompt and necessary action against any such complaints.” With an eye on the panchayat polls next year, Mamata inaugurated several welfare projects and highlighted those the government had successfully implemented at the grassroots level.
Warning local Trinamool Congress leaders not to indulge in factional clashes, she said: “Jayanta Naskar and Govinda Naskar (party leaders) should not fight between themselves and sort out differences. I don’t want to hear about any such problems between the two anymore.” On receiving a complaint regarding the “lack of performance” of the local block development officer, Mamata said: “Whenever I make a promise, I keep it… and when someone doesn’t work according to my instructions, I have to be rough and tough.” “If you find your work is not being done after the deadline, drop a mail at my residence and I will take action. I assure you that I go through all letters and try to find a solution to each as far as possible,” she told villagers.
Taking on the BJP and CPM, Mamata said that neither BJP at the Centre nor CPM, which was in power for 34 years in Bengal, ever bothered about the well-being of the people in this far-flung area of the state. “Earlier, when fishermen were lost in the seas, they could not return. Now, we have given them identity cards so that once they are lost, they can produce the same, prove their identity and return home. Don’t fall prey to the instigations of BJP, which only wants to spark a riot and gain political mileage,” she added.