Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday appealed to the people of Darjeeling hills to maintain peace and “not play with fire”.
Speaking at the city airport before leaving for Netherlands to attend a United Nations meet, Mamata also maintained that she does not discriminate between Bengalis and Nepalis, and asked the people of Darjeeling to be courteous to Bengalis living there.
“I will make an appeal to everyone to maintain peace in the hills. It means that people should hold rallies and meetings in a democratic manner. It is not right to set things on fire or destroy properties. I have heard they have asked Bengali reporters to leave Darjeeling. This is not right. Everybody has the right to go anywhere. Nepalis live and work here, and Bengalis live and work in the hills. They are creating language-based division among people, which is not acceptable,” said the chief minister.
She added: “I don’t discriminate between Bengalis and Nepalis. We all work together. Instead of playing with fire, they should maintain peace in the hills. Solution can be found through meetings and dialogue only when peace is maintained.”
Mamata will be in The Hague to attend the UN Public Service Day celebrations on June 22 and 23. She has been asked to speak about her government’s public services schemes and projects.
“We have a three-day programme in Netherlands. This is a proud moment for West Bengal. We have been called there to speak about Bengal. We definitely want Bengal’s performance in public services to get recognised by UN. We will definitely try to get the recognition, and if we get it, then it will be a proud moment for the country as well,” she said. The chief minister added she would also chair some events organised by business chambers.