West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that her government would foil any attempt to divide people during the coming religious occasions. Asking people "not to be misled by any conspiracy made by troublemakers", she said, "If there are some Facebook posts, some tweets to spread falsehood and misinformation, please be alert and counter them."
Inaugurating a Durga puja here, she said Bengal is not a place for conflicts. "Please don't spare those who will attempt to bring disrepute to Bengal, to our famous Durga puja festival."
Her statement came amid fears of disturbances during the Durga idol immersions which are coinciding with the Tazia processions of Muharram. Banerjee said, "From Ganapati puja of Maharashtra to Guru Nanak Jayanti (of Punjab), Bengal has embraced festivals of different regions as its own. This is the spirit of the state."
Referring to the recent communal riot at Basirhat in North 24-Parganas district, she said, "Just imagine they had used video clips of a Bhojpuri film to claim this took place in Bengal. Did they know anything about our Bengal?
"They had falsely linked some incidents in Bangladesh with Bengal in another video. But they must know these things never happen in Bengal," she said.
"Fire can be used for lighting candles and lamps to dispel darkness. Fire should not be triggered by match sticks to spread conflict," the chief minister said.
Recalling the objections raised by a priest during her visit to the Jagannath temple at Puri months back, Banerjee said, "Initially I was not allowed to enter the temple by a priest. Then I was taken inside by others."
"Those who raise question about my religion and wonder if I was born a Hindu or Muslim, let me say I despise their poor taste. Such kind of thinking and comments cannot be equated with politics, such utterances cannot be equated with social reforms."