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Bangladeshi infiltration is serious problem: Buddhadeb

Bangladeshi infiltration is serious problem: Buddhadeb

Author: Pradip Kumar Datta
Publication: MailArchive.Com
Date: April 15, 2006
URL: http://www.mail-archive.com/assam@assamnet.org/msg05063.html

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya Wednesday admitted that the entry of illegal aliens and terrorists through the Bangladesh border was a serious problem faced by the state.

"Infiltration is a serious problem and I think enough is enough. I had told the prime minister that the situation is deteriorating and that Bangladesh should be told in no uncertain terms about the problem (during the recent visit of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia)," Bhattacharya said.

Addressing a meet-the-press function organised by Kolkata Press Club, he said: "Terrorist outfits are using the same corridor."

"Bangladeshis who have come to India till 1971 are refugees. Whoever - Hindu or Muslim - comes after 1971 is an infiltrator as per the Indira-Mujib pact," he asserted.

The responsibility for curbing this problem lay mainly with the central government and the Border Security Force (BSF).

To a question on the proliferation of madrassas in West Bengal and their role in fomenting communal unrest, Bhattacharya said: "I have appealed to the madrassas to join the mainstream of our education and teach subjects like mathematics and computers.

"They can teach Arabic and Koran. But they should also teach mainstream subjects as well," he said.

Bhattacharya admitted outfits like the Greater Cooch Behar Peoples Association (GCPA) in north Bengal's Cooch Behar district were getting support from the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) of Assam.

But he said GCPA, which earlier backed the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) in the region, would not be able to create much trouble.

The GCPA has said its members will begin an indefinite hunger strike from May 5, three days before elections in the region, if its demand for Cooch Behar district be made a separate state is not met.

The chief minister said Maoist rebels would be tackled politically and through the development of roads, education and irrigation. But since Maoist cadres were involved in an armed struggle, policing was needed to combat them.

"They are an armed force. I cannot talk of non-violence with them. So policing is needed," he said, adding that he would visit areas affected by Maoist violence in Purulia and Bankura districts over the next two days.

Bhattacharya reiterated that compared to the rest of India, the law and order situation in West Bengal was better.

The chief minister, who faced a barrage of questions from members of the national and international media before he seeks later this month a mandate for a seventh Left Front government led by his Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), admitted his government's shortcomings in education and healthcare.

"It is a collective responsibility and I just cannot blame individual ministers for the shortcomings. We have been able to spread primary education but I admit the quality of teachers is still poor. Our hospitals provide almost free treatment to 70 percent of the population," he said.

To a question on whether the five-phase polls would pose problem for the CPI-M, which is accused of rigging the polls, Bhattacharya said: "I am ready to play both one day match and five-day Tests."

He said he was wooing capitalists and maintaining good relations with industrialists because he wanted industrialisation of West Bengal.

"We are practical. We are not fools. We are not implementing socialism here. We cannot implement socialism in the given circumstances. Under the capitalist system we are trying to make capitalism as labour-friendly as possible," he said.

Bhattacharya pledged to improve the quality of life of the people living below the poverty line and to consolidate the success on the agricultural and industrial fronts if re-elected to power.

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