“Won’t Be Mute Witness”: Bengal Governor Over Attack On Union Minister
Terming the attack on Union Minister Nisith Pramanik “deplorable”, West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose on Sunday said he will not be a “mute witness” to deterioration of law and order as he sought an action taken report from the state government.
In a statement issued by the Raj Bhavan, Mr Bose said he spoke to Pramanik, the MoS for Home, about the incident, which happened on Saturday.
“It is shocking that such incidents happened in a land which is known for its refined culture and enviable history of civilized conduct,” he said.
“The Governor will not be a mute witness to any deterioration of Law and Order anywhere, anytime in the State, and strong and effective intervention will follow to ensure that the rot is stemmed in the root effectively, and peace and harmony restored,” the statement said, responding to the attack and the “subsequent demand for the imposition of Article 355” of Constitution.
Mr Pramanik’s convoy was attacked allegedly by TMC supporters in the Dinhata area of West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district.
He claimed that the “convoy was not just pelted with stones but shots were also fired and bombs hurled”, allegations the TMC denied, stating that the BJP was trying to vitiate the state’s atmosphere.
The statement on the law and order situation in the state was a first for Governor Bose who has so far maintained a cordial relation with the TMC government after taking charge in November, unlike his predecessor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
TMC supporters showed black flags to Pramanik when he was on the way to attend a BJP programme, and following that, clashes broke out between supporters of the two parties, injuring several people.
Maintaining that protests are a part of democracy, Mr Bose said, “Violence can not be a part of civilized conduct.” “Anti-social elements which try to take law into their hands will be dealt with sternly. Violence will be rooted-out ruthlessly. The Constitution should be upheld by all those who are committed to do so. Bengal expects every officer to do his duty, without fear or favour, be he in the police or magistracy or any wing of governance,” the governor said.
He said that any laxity in the maintenance of law and order will lead to chaos and anarchy, which will never be tolerated and under no circumstances will unruly elements and hooligans be allowed to hold society to ransom.
“As Governor, it is my duty to ensure that West Bengal does not slip into a ‘soft state’. Rule of law will be established with an iron fist in a velvet glove. Democracy will not be allowed to degenerate into mobocracy,” he said.
“An action taken report is called-for immediately from the responsible law enforcement authorities,” he added.
Reacting to the statement, the ruling TMC said the governor “forgot” to mention the comments of certain BJP leaders who are instigating people, leading to violence.
“Repeatedly such comments are being made by people like Dilip Ghosh and Soumitra Khan but the governor has somehow either failed to notice or decided to ignore those,” TMC spokesperson Joy Prakash Majumdar told PTI, asserting that law and order is a state subject.
State BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said the governor has rightly flagged the issue of worsening law and order situation in West Bengal.
“The governor rightly feels it is his duty to save the constitutional norms being violated by the miscreants of the ruling TMC,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)