West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today held the Centre responsible for the Darjeeling unrest and said the state government would not tolerate any rumour-mongering that might endanger peace. Speaking at an administrative meeting held here this afternoon, she requested the people in the hills and the former Maoist stronghold of Jangalmahal not to pay heed to any form of instigation or rumours. “There was peace in the (Darjeeling) hills. Due to Delhi’s instigation, the peace was disturbed for a few days but peace has returned to the hills again,” Banerjee alleged. “I will request everybody not to pay heed to any form of rumours. You people have to protect the peace of Jangalmahal, I’m with you as your friend,” she added. In an apparent reference to the BJP, she accused the saffron party of creating differences in the country. “In India, a new political party with saffron flags has evolved. It is trying to create differences among people. It is fomenting trouble from one village to another…also trying to create division among the Hindus and Muslims, Sikhs and Christians,” she alleged.
Referring to amendments in laws made by the Jharkhand government for tribal lands, Banerjee alleged the “saffron party” was also trying to create differences among the tribals by taking away their land. “It (saffron party) is creating differences among tribals. And in their regime, tribals are the most troubled. Their land are being taken away. This has recently happened in Jharkhand,” she alleged. She described West Bengal as a land where people of all religions were living happily and referred to an incident in Gujarat where a Dalit man was allegedly beaten to death by a group of men belonging to the upper caste Patel community for attending a garba event.
“A Dalit was lynched when he went to witness a Dandiya dance in Gujarat. These incidents happen in Rajasthan, in Madhya Pradesh and also in some parts of Bihar,” she alleged. “But in West Bengal, we keep Dalits close to our heart, we protect tribals, we protect the minorities…This is the culture of West Bengal,” she said. She said in West Bengal people work as per their will, follow the religion they prefer and there was no discrimination or misunderstanding among them.