West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has come up with a strange ‘warning‘ for the media. She has asked journalists to “behave properly”, otherwise her government could take action against them under the present Disaster Management Act, which she was choosing not to.
“Please behave properly. Under the present Disaster Management Act, we can initiate action. But we don’t, because Bengal has a culture; we believe in humanity. Toleration is our dharma,” Mamata Banerjee said.
Accusing media of falling for BJP propaganda during the coronavirus outbreak, she added, “I just have one request for the media. When there’s an incident, you don’t bother to seek the government’s response. Rather, they become one-sided, negative, and a destructive virus carrier by listening to the BJP,” said the CM.
Eager to criticise the Modi government at the drop of a hat, she accused BJP of spreading “fake news” and “amplifying” the recent mob attack on police personnel in the red-zone Howrah district.
Castigating Mamata Banerjee for her intolerance, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar asked the CM as to why at the time of distress was she is wanting to “enhance bickering” and muzzle media. Taking to Twitter Dhankar said in a series of Tweets: “Why put media in fear? There should not be anything to hide. Independent media is spine, essential element of democracy. Why stress this asset!”
“We are in ‘roof falling’ situation and must shun petty politicking”, the Governor shared a piece of advice for Mamata Banerjee.
Appeal all parties to be in sync in combating Covid 19. Pained @MamataOfficial ‘opposition behaving like “vultures waiting for the dead”. We are in ‘roof falling’ situation and must shun petty politicking.— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) April 30, 2020
Why enhance bickering in times when people face untold miseries.(1/3)
The mob attack on police personnel in Howrah
The Howrah incident, which Mamata Banerjee claimed was a piece of “fake news” and “amplified” by BJP, had actually occurred at the Belilious Road in Howrah, West Bengal on April 28, 2020. Policemen were attacked after they entered the area to enforce the lockdown in the wake of the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic. It is one of the worst affected areas of West Bengal, second only to Kolkata. In a video shared by a journalist associated with Times of India, security personnel can be seen running for cover after the mob came after them.
In a different video shared by an associate editor at India Today, the mob was seen dragging a policeman, apparently, to safety. A voice in the video says that the face of the policeman has been injured. Another voice agrees. The voices appeared angry with the mob and wanted the Police to crack down on the mob.
As per reports, two to three policemen were injured in the mob attack. The incident occurred at the Belilious Road in Howrah when the Police asked people defying the lockdown to go back to their homes. The mob also attacked the Tikiapara Police Station and pelted stones at the policemen. Bottles were also thrown at the Police.
Allegations against Mamata Banerjee in handling the coronavirus outbreak
The health-care experts believe that the situation in Bengal is very grave as the Mamata Banerjee-led government has not been giving real data to assess the actual seriousness of the pandemic. From threats to doctors for whistleblowing against the state government against lack of facilities to allegations of state government illegally disposing of dead bodies, there have been serious allegations against the Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal.
Mamata Banerjee rants against Centre
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister herself is engaging in rants against the Central Government and a lack of cooperation on her part with authorities at the centre has been reported on numerous occasions. She is busy making false claims about the central government and accuses them of undue political interference in the affairs of her state. Mamata Banerjee has also asked Coronavirus positive patients to quarantine themselves at home, indicating that the spread of the virus is much greater than admitted by the state government.