Darjeeling unrest: West Bengal govt to form vigilance teams to watch over public properties

Kolkata: Amid the prevailing unrest in the Darjeeling hills, West Bengal government has decided to form civil defence vigilance teams in gram panchayats to keep an eye over public properties.

In a recent order, the sub-divisional officers of Darjeeling Sadar, Kurseong and Mirik besides, block divisional officers of Darjeeling-Pulbazar, Jorebunglow, Sukhiapokhri, Rangli, Rangliot, Kurseong and Mirik have been instructed to mobilise two to three civil defence volunteers from each gram panchayat under their jurisdiction to keep vigil over public properties, specially during night.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The volunteers will keep an eye on public properties such as power stations, schools, hospitals, gram panchayat offices, forest offices and other government premises in the area during night and immediately report to the local authorities about any untoward incident including arson, a senior officer of the state disaster management department said.

"The job of these volunteers will be to keep vigil over public properties, specially at night, and to report to the local authorities about any untoward incident including arson then and there only," he said.

In a report, the state government has estimated that the hills have so far suffered a loss of Rs 150 crore due to violence and the ongoing indefinite strike there.

The report mentions damage to properties, including both government and private, and losses in trade and business during the ongoing indefinite strike called by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) in the hills.

The state government is scheduled to submit the report, which has been compiled on the basis of feedback from officials in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, to the Calcutta High Court, official sources at the state secretariat said.

Updated Date: Jun 23, 2017 11:20 AM

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