Burdwan, West Bengal: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said the state government was fully seized of the plight of refugees who had crossed over to West Bengal from strife-torn Kokrajhar and would provide all relief to them.
Best of care would be taken of those refugees who would like to stay in camps as long as they wished, she told a public rally in Burdwan after attending a Railways programme.
“As long as they (Assam refugees) want to stay in camps in our state, we will provide food, shelter and treatment and do whatever is possible for them. They are our guests,” she said adding her government considered it a social responsibility to provide shelter to them.
Banerjee said she was against riots and her government would always resist them.
“There is no place for those who want to disturb harmony … Any attempt to foment trouble will be strongly resisted.”
The chief minister appealed for maintaining peace and harmony in Assam. “Since I did not comment on it many people have tried to play politics with it,” she said and blasted CPM, which had sent a Left Front legislature party team to refugee camps at Kumargram, Barovisa and other areas in the border areas with Assam.
“Some people are trying to make distinctions on the basis of religion. This will not be allowed in West Bengal,” she said.
Banerjee said she had sent North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb to Alipurduar and Kumargram in Jalpaiguri district.
“I have heard from him that there are three pregnant women in the camps. I have asked that they be hospitalised. West Bengal government will pay for their treatment.”
Those who have sustained bullet injuries would also be treated free of cost. Everybody at the camps would be provided food and other materials, she said.
A report from Jalpaiguri said 1,100 refugees from trouble-torn Kokrajhar in Assam had crossed over to the district in West Bengal and were taking shelter at a temporary relief camp in Mominpur-Joshodanga area under Jalpaiguri Block II, official reports said.
The refugees—young, old and infirm—had taken shelter at the Akbar Mission Shishu Niketan madrasa, sources said.
North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb visited the camp and extended succour to the refugees. The minister distributed baby food, clothes, vegetables, rice and lentils among them on behalf of the government.
The minister said, Assam being a neighbouring state, West Bengal had extended a compassionate hand to those who had crossed over to Bengal to escape violence.
They would be sent back to Assam as soon as the situation improved, the minister added.