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31 May 2017

Alert advice for police - No need to enforce cattle order: Mamata

Mamata at the meeting in Barrackpore
TT, Calcutta, May 30: Mamata Banerjee today instructed officials that "there is no need" to follow the Centre's order banning sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets, saying "nobody has the right to dictate" people's food habits.
"What a person will eat is entirely his or her choice. Nobody has the right to dictate that. I am telling the administration this right here, do not follow that order. There is no need. The state has not issued any order in this regard. This is the state's domain," the chief minister said during an administrative review meeting in Barrackpore, North 24-Parganas.
The instructions came on a day Madras High Court issued a four-week stay on the BJP-led Centre's notification.
Sources in Trinamul said the chief minister planned to mount pressure on the Narendra Modi government over "bovine politics".
Mamata, who has dubbed the notification "a political move" as it was issued days before the holy month of Ramazan, today upheld the right of people to observe religious festivals.
"The holy month of Ramazan is on right now. Everyone has every right to observe religious festivals, be it Durga or Kali Puja or Christmas or Id," she said.
She, however, reiterated her government's zero-tolerance policy on cattle smuggling, which sources said was an attempt to strike a balance at a time the BJP has accused her of not doing enough to tackle the illegal trade.
"There is an international border in this district. Let me state unequivocally - cow smuggling must stop at any cost. The police have to deal with it firmly and put an end to it," Mamata said.
She then accused the BJP-RSS camp of following a "divisive agenda" and directed the police and administration to be unsparing in dealing with those trying to foment tension in the state.
"The police have to keep their eyes and ears open and stay on high alert. More so in cosmopolitan places such as North 24-Parganas. If somebody tries to incite tension and violence, do not spare them," she said.
"It is the BJP and its associates that are trying to do this. Nobody who tries to do this should be spared," she added.
During the meeting, Mamata also cautioned several senior elected representatives from the district - naming Jagaddal MLA Parash Dutta, Bhatpara MLA Arjun Singh, Bidhannagar mayor Sabyasachi Dutta, deputy mayor Tapas Chatterjee, chairperson Krishna Chakraborty and Basirhat MP Idris Ali - against internal feud.
"All this cannot go on. I am not going to tolerate it. Everybody has to set aside differences and learn to work together," she said.
Infighting has been one of Trinamul's biggest problem areas since it came to power in 2011 and North 24-Parganas has been the hotbed for factional tension and violence over the past few years.

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