'WB doesn't believe in bulldozing people's property'
Times of India | 24 November 2022
KOLKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asserted that Bengal did not believe in "bulldozing" people's property, urging residents to resist if their land was seized without compensation and advising them to be vigilant against any "nefarious" attempts by the Centre to remove them from the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC).
"No one can evict the poor without negotiation and adequate compensation," Banerjee said at a programme at the Netaji indoor stadium to grant land patta to 4,701 marginalised families, adding, "The Bengal government does not believe in the policy of using bulldozers and bulldozing people's land."
"The NRC game has started again," the CM said, asking all citizens to be careful. "Because tomorrow, the central government will say your name is not on the NRC list and send you to detention camp. But we will never let their nefarious agenda to be fulfilled," she added, saying similar things had already happened in Assam. "Rights," she said, "are not given, but have to be acquired."
Banerjee urged everyone to ensure their names were on the voters' list, reminding them that the exercise to update it was on, and would continue till December 5. "In the guise of NRC, make sure the central government doesn't strike your name off the list. Go to the voting centre and check your names," she said.
The CM said the poor were sometimes evicted from their land, "sometimes in the name of (land acquisition) for a National Highway, or for building a flyover." She added that she had come to know that something like that had happened "in Pandabeswar (West Burdwan), without any compensation or rehabilitation," adding, "There should be compensation for eviction. We will not allow bulldozing."
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, saying Bengal didn’t believe in bulldozing property, on Wednesday mentioned that she had said in the assembly earlier in the day how poor people were being evicted in the name of building flyovers and railway tracks, reports Debashis Konar.
“They are not even being compensated adequately. This will not be allowed. . . I ask them to start an agitation. The state will stand by them until they are rehabilitated. Unless you are fairly compensated, do not let go of your land. ”
Referring to the NRC exercise in Assam, she hinted that there might be attempts to oust genuine citizens from the register on flimsygrounds. “Sometimes, though your name might be correct, your spouse’s name mightnot be there, and they will cancel your name, too. Make sure these things don’t happen. Such things have happened in Assam. We saw how many names were removed from the NRC. We had taken up an agitation back then too, and today I repeat that I condemn the NRC exercise. ”
Banerjee said people who had come over to India before March 1971 “lost everything. ” But they have to be provided rehabilitation, that was the agreement, she added. “They are the citizens of the country. You cannot dupethem and say they are not citizens. If so, how did they cast votes? You became Prime Minister because of these people’s votes and today, you are saying they are not citizens. ”
Banerjee said she had been fighting to refugees since she became Jadavpur MP (in 1984). “Local residents had requested me to give freehold rights (title deeds) to refugees staying there,” she said. “Getting freehold rights was due to my agitation. ” She added that over 300 refugee colonies will be given patta. “In Midnapore, there is an area called Khas Mahal. For over 100 years, people there have waited for patta. No government heard them, until we came to office,” she said.