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February 4, 2019

Mamata Banerjee gives awards to policemen

Bangla Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is on an indefinite protest ‘to save the Constitution’, handed over awards to police officers today at the dharna site.

Standing on a stage adjacent to where she has been on a sit-in protest for most part of the day, the chief minister greeted the officers and handed over the awards.

Highlights of the Chief Minister’s speech:

Families of police officers are present here. I apologise to them. Because of emergency reasons the venue had to be shifted here from Uttirno. I did not cancel any of my scheduled meetings. I held the Cabinet meeting here, addressed the Krishak Sammelan at Netaji Indoor stadium via mobile. So we decided to hold this event here on the road.

Roads are the lifeline of police. They are our pride. Whether it is rains or sunshine, festivals or marriages, political programmes or disasters – they are always there to help the people. They are one of the best forces in the country, and even the world. I am proud of the police force.

I feel sad for the traffic police. They toil so hard for our sake. Come rain or sunshine, they perform their duty, even when we are celebrating. It is our duty to honour such officers.

Every sector has some good people and some bad people. We have to feel proud of the people with the 99% good officers. Bangla is running because of them. Those who raised questions on the law and order of Bangla for political reasons, I want to ask them, how many Durga Pujas are held across the State? There are 48,000 registered organisers alone. Should they not be rewarded for their work during Durga Puja, Eid, Christmas or Gangasagar?

We have set up 125 new police stations since we came to power. Out of these, 45-46 are women’s police stations. We have set up cybercrime stations, coastal stations. It was us who set up the CBI court. We have also set up 19 human rights courts, fast-track courts. We have recruited more than 1.2 lakh civic volunteers, 40 lakh constables, home guards. More appointments are being made.

The monthly salary of civic volunteers has been increased from Rs 3,000/3,500 per month to Rs 8,000.

There was a time when if police officers lost their lives on the line of duty, no one batted an eyelid. Now we give a job to the family in case of such tragedies.

This dharna is not political. If someone insults the police force, and targets them without any reason, then I will protest.

Sitting in Delhi, they think they are big leaders and want to arrest the State leaders. I respect the Delhi police, they are also our family. I do not grudge anyone personally. My anger is against those who want to destroy institutions.

A lot of lies are being peddled. We are not responsible. Chit funds came into existence in 1980. Why did investigations start after 2011? It was our government which arrested Sudipta Sen, not the previous government. We constituted an SIT, we constituted the Shyamal Sen Commission and returned Rs 250-300 crore to the depositors. And they allege we are the thieves?

If they impose Article 355 or 356, we also have Section 144. No entry board. It is not so simple. We will protest.

My protest is to uphold the dignity of the forces.

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