Dhankhar writes to Mamata to probe into complaints by agro processing co

·3-min read

Kolkata, Dec 26 (PTI) West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar Saturday wrote to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to initiate a thorough probe into the complaint by an agro processing company alleging that it had been singled out by certain excise officials for not succumbing to their illegal demands thereby impacting the company's alcohol business in the state.

In his two-page letter, Dhankhar also urged the chief minister to fix accountability of the public servants for their acts of omission and commission and investigate the serious allegations of certain excise officials making illegal demands.

Referring to the alleged incident of 150 armed goons vandalising one of the distilleries of IFB Agro at Noorpur in South 24 Parganas district on June 25 this year forcing it to shut the facility since then, the governor also urged Banerjee to see that the culprits are brought to book.

I would urge you to have the entire matter thoroughly investigated, accountability be fixed on the public servants for their acts of omission and commission, culprits of 25 June 2020 shameful incident that led to the vandalising of the distillery, and its closure at gunpoint be brought to book and the serious allegations as regards certain excise officials making illegal demands must be thoroughly investigated,' Dhankhar wrote to Banerjee.

'I would appreciate your update on the steps taken, he added.

Dhankhar in his letter said the issue raised is of a very serious nature. 'Such nefarious activities that are ex facie arbitrary abuse of power must be nipped in the bud as the same are deterrent to investment and contrary to rule of law.

The IFB Agro Industries Limited, one of the major India-made foreign liquor and country sprit makers, had on December 22 written to Banerjee and also to the state finance, commerce and industry ministers to intervene.

The company had said that its alcohol business is under threat as it has been singled out by certain excise officials for not succumbing to their illegal demands.

Reports indicate that Excise Department is a hot seat of extra legal deals and such planned loot cannot be countenanced. State and non-state actors in concert cannot be allowed to be law unto themselves,' Dhankhar wrote.

He said it is a matter of serious concern that till date none has been brought to book with respect to the criminal incident of 25 June, 2020 when 150 armed goons vandalised the factory and led to its closure at gunpoint.

'This inaction by itself speaks volumes about the state of affairs, and politicised stance of administration and police, the governor, who has been at loggerheads with the TMC government in the state since he took over office in July 2019, wrote.

The governor had after the alleged attack at the agro processing unit in June called for a deeper probe while raising concerns about a conducive investment climate in the state.

Dhankhar in his letter said that he was not informed by additional chief secretaries in the finance department and home deaprtment though they were asked for an exhaustive update in connection with the incident. PTI SCH KK KK KK