Saibal Gupta, TNN, Jul 18, 2016, KOLKATA: With the rise of extortion, criminality mostly under the garb of mushrooming syndicate business in the state, chief minister Mamata Banerjee called for strong police action to instill confidence among the people. Banerjee’s steps are even more important after the recent terror attack in Dhaka the ripples of which have reached the state.
The chief minister made her message very loud and clear. On Monday in meeting with the Director General of police she told Surajit Kar Purakayastha to increase the visibility of the police and create a sense of reverence for the force among the people. The chief minister directed all the officers including the commissioners of five commissionrates that any complain regarding syndicate and extortion should be firmly dealt without looking into the political affiliation of the person involved in the crime.
The crackdown was immediate and strongly visible. An hour after the meeting ADG (Law and Order) in a press conference told the media, “A state wide raid has been conducted in co-ordination with all the commissionrates and the state police. We have arrested 1023 people on specific cases and 7972 as preventive measures. Apart from that 1520 nonbailable arrest warrant has been executed. This is going to continue periodically”.
What is more interesting is that 45 persons have been arrested from in and around Rajarhat area on charges of extortion and threatening the people. Ever since Salt Lake councilor Anindya Chatterjee was arrested last Tuesday, 17 persons with reported extortion links have been arrested. By making the arrests Banerjee made it very clear that she won’t allow extortion in the name of syndicate business. She has told it in the administrative meeting in North 24 parganas few days back. She even called her MLAs and ministers and told them to stop infighting.
“She has given clear directive that whoever is guilty should be arrested. None should be spared. She even told us not to see the political colours. She directed us to investigate all complain regarding extortion and syndicate business with seriousness. She has made very clear that she won’t spare anybody,” a senior home department official said.
“Apart from that 2300 letres of illegal alchohol, three lakh illegal cash, 85 firearms, 201 rounds of bullets, 781 bombs, 68 kilograms of explosives, 114 kilgrams of ganja and 20 grams of heroine have been recovered. The state police also arrested 10900 persons on MV Act specifically for violation of traffic rules,” Shamra said.
When asked about the infiltration, Sharma said, “We are having strong coordination with the Border Security Force and Coastal Security. There has been regular meetings and infiltration will be firmly dealt with”. “Though there has been some intelligence sharing but that is not enough. The state and the centre should come together and find out an amicable solution regarding intelligence sharing which in turn will help the state,” a senior police officer said.