NATIONAL

Criminals with political patronage will not be spared: Buddhadeb

KOLKATA, MARCH 17. Criminals will not be let off the hook, despite their political patronage,the West Bengal Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, told the Assembly today. He urged leaders of political parties to assist the law-enforcing agencies to apprehend them.

Mr. Bhattacharjee said that in view of the abductions for ransom in recent times, the State administration had decided to set up a cell in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to tackle such crime.

Last month, a college girl had been abducted from the Salt Lake area here, but traced the next day. Twelve persons were arrested in connexion with the case.

In reply to a question, Mr. Bhattacharjeesaid criminals like Aftab Ansari, main accused in the shoot-out case outside the American Centre here more than three years ago, still had contacts in West Asia, though he had been in a jail here for the past two years. He said there was need to check the use of mobile phones by criminals in the State's jails. Shortly after the question hour, Congress members walked out of the House when the Speaker, Hasim Abdul Halim, turned down a demand that the Chief Minister make a statement on the future of medical students who had to give up their seats after being granted admission under the quota for non-resident Indians (NRI).

The Congress MLA, Abdul Mannan, was allowed to read an adjournment motion "on the jeopardized future of 65 medical students in the State under the NRI quota, following the Supreme Court's rejection of the [State] Government's appeal in this connection."

Later, outside the House, the Chief Minister held a meeting with the Leader of the Opposition, Pankaj Banerjee, and the senior Congress leader, Atish Sinha, where it was decided to defer the tabling of the Block-level Pre-litigation and Conciliation Board Bill that is being opposed by the Opposition.

The State's Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Prabodh Sinha, said the Bill had been put on hold and a decision on it that sought to empower panchayats with powers to adjudicate on disputes at the block level would be taken after a national convention of lawyers scheduled to be held on April 16.

Recommended for you