Published On: Fri, Jan 5th, 2024

‘Bengal not banana republic’, says Governor warning Mamata govt over attack on ED team

Kolkata: West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose on Friday called the attack on members of the Enforcement Directorate in North 24 Parganas district “ghastly”.

I reserve all my constitutional options for appropriate action

The Governor also summoned State Chief Secretary BP Gopalika in connection with the incident. Besides, he also met the injured ED officials at a hospital in Kolkata’s Saltlake City.

A few ED officers were assaulted and their vehicles were damaged allegedly by supporters of Trinamool Congress leader Shahjahan Sheikh on Friday when they tried to raid his residence in North 24 Parganas district in connection with their probe into the ration distribution scam.

Taking on the West Bengal government, Bose said that the sole responsibility of preventing violence in the state lies with the Mamata Banerjee-led government.

“Bengal is not a banana republic. The sole responsibility of preventing violence is with the government. The government should act effectively or face consequences,” Bose said.

“It (attack on ED team) was a ghastly incident. It is alarming and deplorable. A civilised government must stop barbarism and vandalism in a democracy,” he added.

He also said that the “pre-election” violence in Bengal should come to an end. “If a government fails in its basic duty, the Constitution of India will take its course. I reserve all my constitutional options for appropriate action,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari alleged the law and order situation in West Bengal “is in shambles”.

“Horrific. The Law & Order Situation in West Bengal is in shambles. ED Officials & CRPF Jawans brutally attacked in Sandeshkhali; North 24 Parganas district, while conducting Raid at TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan’s house. I doubt that Rohingyas are present amongst the Anti National attackers,” (sic) he wrote on X.

The ED has been conducting raids for months in connection with the alleged ration distribution scam. According to the probe agency, nearly 30 per cent of the Public Distribution System (PDS) ration meant for beneficiaries in West Bengal was diverted to the open market.

The proceeds of crime generated from the alleged pilferage of ration were shared between the millers and PDS distributors, the probe agency said.

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