West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday expressed concern over growing incidents of miscreants from neighbouring Jharkhand and Bihar coming to West Bengal carrying firearms.
Her remarks have come at a time when the Union Home Ministry has alerted the four eastern Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha over the possible resurgence of left-wing extremist (LWE) or Maoist activities in their erstwhile stronghold pockets in their four states.
“Bihar has an illegal arms manufacturing unit. Miscreants from Bihar and Jharkhand are entering West Bengal carrying firearms through trains. They are hiding their arms under the vegetables to hoodwink the police. The GRP seems to be not much active in checking this,” the chief minister said at an administrative review meeting at West Midnapore district on Tuesday afternoon.
At the review meeting, the chief minister expressed displeasure over reports on illegal wood smuggling rampant in the forest areas in the locality.
“I have reports that certain panchayat members and certain employees of the local police and forest department are involved in this illegal trade. I direct the district administration to take strong actions against the offenders,” the chief minister said.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister once again became vocal against the Central government over the alleged reluctance of the latter to pay the state government dues on account of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme.
“The Union government has not paid the MGNREGA dues since December last year,” she alleged.
She also directed the state chief secretary, HK Dwivedi to create a crisis management fund on this count.