Onus of stopping coal, cattle smuggling Centre’s responsibility: Mamata
Kolkata, Nov 23 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday indicated that the onus of stopping the smuggling of coal and cattle lies with the central government as its agencies are responsible for producing and safekeeping of the dry fuel and guarding the international border.
'Coal India Limited (CIL) is run by the Centre. Coal mines are guarded by CISF, which is a central force. The border is also guarded by the BSF,' Banerjee said, implying that the onus of illegal mining and smuggling lay with the central government.
Addressing a party programme at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata, she also alleged that those 'big leaders' who are involved in cattle and coal smuggling are 'sitting elsewhere'. The TMC boss, however, did not name any individual or political party.
The Trinamool Congress supremo’s assertion came at a time when several party leaders are being accused of being involved in the smuggling of coal and cattle. Abhishek Banerjee, her nephew and considered number 2 in the TMC, and his family members were also questioned by the ED in connection with the alleged coal scam.
'Coal is often lifted illegally from closed down mines of the CIL and its subsidiaries while ED has claimed that TMC local leadership was involved in the money trail of the trade,' Banerjee said.
She claimed that with the help of central agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate besides “unscrupulous” TV channels, it was being made out as if TMC leaders were the kingpins in the smuggling.
The central government has kept everybody at gunpoint, the TMC supremo alleged and asked party leaders to 'speak this truth repeatedly' in their areas.
Without naming the BJP, she claimed that saffron party leaders were involved in cow smuggling to Bangladesh through West Bengal.
Banerjee said, 'Cows for smuggling to Bangladesh are brought from different states, including UP. Who takes the cut there?' PTI SBN JRC PNT NN
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