A “deeply disturbed” Mamata Banerjee spoke against politicising the Delhi violence and urged “everybody” on Tuesday to maintain peace.
The Bengal chief minister, who left for Bhubaneswar in the evening for an Eastern Zonal Council meeting convened by Union home minister Amit Shah with the chief ministers of the eastern states, issued an appeal at the airport.
“Please let’s not politicise this. This is a sensitive situation,” Mamata, the Trinamul Congress chief, said.
“What I am saying is we are extremely anxious over what is happening. Why all this is going on, I do not know…. I am deeply disturbed. We are deeply concerned about the situation,” she added.
Mamata said she was keeping a close watch on the situation.
“I believe everybody must work to maintain peace…. What is going on, I do not know. I do not know where we are,” Mamata said.
“Of course, we the people of India want peace. We appeal to all, please maintain peace,” she added. “Our country is the land of peace, of humanity… the land where everybody is taken along. There is no place for violence here.”
Sources said Mamata had ordered the police administration across Bengal to be on high alert to prevent untoward incidents in the aftermath of the violence in Delhi. The sources said the administration had reached out to community leaders and that organisations deemed hardline were being closely monitored.
They said the police had been told to deal with a firm hand possible situations in districts that witnessed unrest over a couple of days in December after the amended citizenship law was passed by the Centre.
Mamata, likely to also meet Shah one-to-one on Thursday evening, is expected to speak to her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik earlier that day. On Wednesday, she is likely to visit Puri and offer prayers at the Jagannath temple.
On Sunday, Shah is scheduled to attend a BJP rally in Calcutta, where he is to be felicitated by the Bengal unit for passing the amended citizenship law.
The police, the state BJP said, had granted permission for the rally at the Shahid Minar grounds.
Sources said mikes would be allowed as the venue is not near any residential area and so students were not likely to be disturbed in the exam season.
On Tuesday night, the official handle of Calcutta police commissioner Anuj Sharma issued this tweet: “Some motivated people may try to create trouble by posting inciting material on social media to create law & order issues. Be cautious believing/forwarding such items…. Dial 100 in distress.”