Kolkata: Refuting media reports of alleged starvation deaths in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said the deaths were either due to “age-related ailments” or “excessive liquor consumption”.
“The reports that people from Sabar community have died due to starvation were absolutely false and fabricated. No one has died in Bengal due to starvation,” she said in the state Assembly.
She said the state provides free rice and wheat to each and every poor person in West Bengal – from the hills in the north to Jungle Mahal in the south.
According to media reports, seven people belonging to Sabar community in Jungle Mahal area of Jhargram district died due to starvation.
“People have died in Jungle Mahal due to excessive consumption of liquor or age-related ailments. While two people have died of illness and old age, others have died due to liver problems caused by excessive consumption of liquor,” she said.
The opposition CPI(M) and the Congress staged a walkout from the Assembly as their demand for a detailed discussion on the alleged deaths was rejected.
Later in the evening, CPI(M) legislator Sujan Chakraborty along with some party activists organised a demonstration in front of venue the of the ‘Ahare Bangla’ 2018, a food festival at New Town. Chakraborty was detained and taken to the police station.