Vindicated by the huge seizure of illegal arms in West Bengal, home minister P Chidambaram on Monday asked the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government to “redouble” its efforts to recover all illegal arms proliferating in west Midnapore district and elsewhere.
Since May 14, a day after the results of Assembly polls were declared, police have conducted about 100 raids and recovered 1,109 fire arms and 11,088 rounds of ammunition of different varieties from various police stations in West Midnapore district.
In many instances, the firearms were seized from near local offices of the CPM. In one case, the seizures were made from a known CPM supporter.
Chidambaram had tried to nudge former CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to act against armed camps of CPM cadres ahead of the elections. But the advice got lost over the choice of words used to describe the armed camps.
“You can’t maintain law and order if illegal arms proliferate in a state,” he said, repeating the message that he had tried to drive home before the polls.
“I have maintained earlier that there are illegal arms in West Bengal, especially in West Midnapore. Netia (where several people were allegedly killed by CPM cadres) proved that I was right that there was an armed camp,” he said.
“Now, we know that arms caches were in many places. So, I think the new government has its task cut out. The new government will have to redouble its drive to recover these arms,” he said in New Delhi.
Chidambaram said an Insas rifle seized by the police had been traced to the Silda camp of the Eastern Frontier Rifles in 2010. But he did not have an opinion on the investigations conducted into this case. “That is a call the state police have to take,” he said, describing the looting of arms as a “very grave incident”.
Govt to return Singur land to farmers
On the very first working day of the new Trinamool Congress- lead West Bengal government, the state commerce and industry department initiated the process fulfilling the longstanding commitment of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to return the 400 acres of land in Singur to the farmers.
After making his first official visit to his department, the state commerce & industry minister Partha Chatterjee said that the officials of his department and West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation have been asked to immediately prepare a file on Singur, with details like agreement with Tata Motors and subsequent exchange of communications, among others.
“I have directed the officials to prepare the file and submit the same to me by Tuesday noon. Then the matter will be discussed with the chief minister, following which the procedure of returning land will be evaluated,” Chatterjee told reporters.