Center blames Bengal for not allowing cargo movement across the India-Bangladesh border
NEW DELHI: The Center criticized the government on Wednesday for not allowing the movement of essential goods across the India-Bangladesh border, saying such acts violated the Constitution and will have international implications.
The new indictment could deteriorate already strained relations between the Center and the West Bengal government and further escalate the war of words.
The Union Home Office told the West Bengal government that it has not implemented repeated instructions from the Center for the free movement of cargo and this amounts to a violation of the Disaster Management Act.
In his letter to the chief secretary of West Bengal, Rajiva Sinha, the Union's secretary of the interior, Ajay Bhalla, said that on April 24 instructions were given to allow the land border of essential goods across all of Indo's borders. -Nepal, Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Bangladesh and send a compliance report to the Ministry of the Interior (MHA).
In this regard, I am compelled to say that we have not received the compliance report from the West Bengal state government, he said.
The Union's Home Secretary said merchandise traffic was reported through border crossings between India Bangladesh , falling in West Bengal, has not yet resumed.
As a result, he said, a large number of trucks carrying essential supplies, to Bangladesh, are stranded at different border crossing points.
A number of drivers of such vehicles, while returning from Bangladesh, have also not been allowed to cross the border into India, and are stranded in the neighboring country.
Bhalla noted that in the new guidelines on blockade measures, it has been clearly explained that no state or union territory will stop the movement of cargo for cross-border land trade under treaties with neighboring countries.
The unilateral action by the West Bengal government to stop the cross-border movement of essential goods would have greater implications for the Indian government regarding its legally binding international commitments.
This West Bengal state government law amounts to a violation of orders issued by the MHA under the Disaster Management Act of 2005, as well as articles 253, 256 and 257 of the Indian Constitution, he said.
Bhalla again directed the West Bengal government to allow cross land border transportation through all Indo- Bangladesh borders without any further delay and send the compliance report on opening of cross land borders by Wednesday itself.
The new letter from the union's Home Secretary was one of a series of communications and verbal duels between the Center, the West Bengal government and its Trinamool Congress on the implementation of various central directives related to the Covid blockade and pandemic. 19.
Last month, after the central government sent two inter-ministerial central teams (IMCT) to West Bengal to assess the situation of Covid-19 and the implementation of the blockade, Prime Minister Mamata Banerjee He criticized the move and accused the Center of sending faulty test kits to the state.
Subsequently, the leader of one of the teams, Additional Secretary Apurva Chandra, alleged that the West Bengal government was not providing cooperation to the team and requested a detailed presentation on the situation in the state.
The union's interior secretary also alleged that the West Bengal government was not cooperating with core teams visiting the state to assess the situation on the ground and specifically preventing them from interacting with health workers and touring the affected areas.
The central government also blamed the West Bengal government for not implementing the blockade properly.
Soon, the Union Interior Ministry also ordered the West Bengal government not to obstruct the work of the two central teams visiting the state.
Although the chief secretary of West Bengal assured that he will comply with all the orders of the central government, the state's ruling TMC called the IMCT visits as adventure tourism and questioned why the teams were not sent to other states with a large number increased cases and hot spots.
TMC leader Derek O'Brien also criticized the IMCT as the most callous team in India, stating that the team's true goal is to spread the political virus.
Their real goal is to spread the political virus. They are doing it shamelessly, shamelessly. Choose, IMCT = India's most callous team IMCT = I must cause trouble (in Bengal), O'Brien tweeted.
Before wrapping up their two-week trip on Monday, the IMCT, led by Apurva Chandra, charged the West Bengal government with Covid-19, saying its 12.8 percent death rate was highest in the country and reflected evidence low and weak vigilance as the pandemic is tackled.
The Prime Minister first announced the 21-day blockade Narendra Modi on March 24 in an attempt to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was extended first until May 3 and again until May 17.