Chief Minister Mamata Banrejee on Thursday cautioned the media against crossing the ‘Laxman rekha’.

Speaking at an award ceremony for policemen, she drew from the epic to say: “Don’t cross the Laxman rekha... Ravana will come to eat you up.”

She also exhorted the gathering not to heed the smear campaign that was doing the rounds.

She claimed that West Bengal’s law and order was far better than that of other States, pointing out that the police could take action only when a first information report was filed. Ms. Banerjee ruled out any political interference in affairs of governance.

She also gave the police a clean-chit regarding its role in the Salt Lake stadium fracas last week, when the coach of a football club and some others were injured by a brickbat-throwing mob during a major football league match.

Ms. Banerjee said the media was ever critical of her government, but never raised its voice on the way the State was being financially deprived by the Centre. Nor did they write about the fact that despite its odds, the State clocked a growth rate that was higher than the national average, with a 35 per cent growth in its revenue mobilisation, she said.

“Thirty five years of misdeeds cannot be undone in one and half years… We have done enough in these 18 months, we will show you in the next three and a half years what else we can do,” she said.