AMRI fire: Formidable Mamata sends down shivers to Marwaris

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Kolkata, Jan 7: The devastating AMRI hospital fire which killed 93 people on Dec 9 last year has emerged as a new challenge for Kolkata Marwaris to operate their business in the eastern metropolitan city.

According to The Econmic Times, Kolkata Marwaries are feeling threatened after Mamata Banerjee's reaction on AMRI tragedy, who ordered to arrest the seven directors of the hospital and cancelled the license of all AMRI hospitals in the city without any proper investigation into the matter. The accused have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and negligence.

Reacting to the issue, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) had slammed the CM saying offenders should get punishment only after a transparent inquiry holds them guilty. They termed the arrest of the AMRI directors anti-industry and not completely non-discriminatory. The arrest of the seven non-executive directors is a sore point among almost all businessmen, cutting across community lines.

FCCI further claimed that the arrested AMRI directors were not in charge of day-to-day affairs of the hospital.

Mamata in response thrashed FICCI stating that the state didn't want any industry that consumed several lives. She further said that "a murderer's identity is that of a murderer, a terrorist is a terrorist. I cannot pardon someone on grounds that the person has a different identity."

Reports also claim that many Marwaries, who migrated from Rajasthan to Bengal centuries ago have resigned from several companies' directorships and charitable trusts fearing an accident may mean immurement for directors. Some of the industrialists are also planning to set up new industries in Gujarat and Rajathan.

A leading city industrialist said, "Under tremendous pressure, Mamata has vented her fury on some of the directors of AMRI". Futhermore the past managing director of Maruti Suzuki Jagdish Khattar said that "Whatever action is taken against the AMRI directors should be according to laws. If it is contrary to law, then investment in Bengal is expected to take a beating."

Reports further claimed that, following Mamata Banerjee's blistering reaction to AMRI issue, many of India's storied Marwari families such as the Birlas, Singhanias and Goenkas trace their roots to the former capital of the British Empire.

But Kolkata people revealed mixed reactions into the issue in a poll carried out in sample size of 20 by the Econmoic Times. The poll result revealed that 50% felt members of the Marwari community were being victimised, an equal number said they did not feel this was the case.

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