Mamata orders police crackdown on unscrupulous promoters, extortionists

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Kolkata, Aug 2 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday issued strict instructions to police to take stern steps against promoters and all others filling up water bodies in the state, and said no one should not be spared even if they took her name.

“If anybody fills up a water body, police will deal with it. Police have been told to control the miscreants strictly. Often promoters fill up water bodies in the darkness of the night,” Banerjee said after a high level meeting attended by ministers and top police officers at the state secretariat Nabanna.

“We have told the police if the allegations are correct, strong action has to be taken. Even if the accused take my name, they shouldn’t be spared,” she said.

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Responding to media criticism faced by the government and the ruling Trinamool Congress regarding extortion demands faced by those endeavouring to construct houses or extend their residences, Banerjee said: “It is not my job to find out who is extorting. The administration is there for this.”

She said if a “genuine wrong” has been committed, the media should bring it to the knowledge of the police, but warned against false reports being published in the media to protect the interests of unscrupulous promoters.

“There are some people who for the sake of politics are organising demonstrations. That is also not right.”

Refering to her party Trinamool, she said: “If even one or two people commit wrongs, we take strong action. Police also have been taking strong action, and will continue to do so in future.”

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Conceding that some people are expanding their business by taking the name of Trinamool, she said: “We won’t allow that also.”

Banerjee said the municipal corporations, municipalities, the Urban Development Department and police have been told to come down with a heavy hand to stop illegal promoting.

Alleged some unscrupulous promoters try to give a communal colour to protect their interests, she asserted that no such attempts will be allowed.

The state’s opposition parties had made extortion and activities of syndicates (cartels said to force promoters and contractors to buy construction materials often of inferior quality at high prices) a major issue during the assembly polls earlier this years.

After her party returned to power, Banerjee expressed her displeasure over law and order and asked police to curb the illegal syndicate business.

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Last month, Trinamool councillor of Bidhannagar municipality, Anindya Chatterjee, was arrested and remanded to custody on charges of extortion in North 24 Parganas district.




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