Gorkhaland agitation: Calcutta High Court stays Centre's decision to pull out troops from Darjeeling

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday stayed the Centre's decision to pull out CRPF troops from Darjeeling until 27 October, the date of the next hearing. Trinamool welcomed the high court's decision, media reports said.

On Sunday, the home ministry had ordered the withdrawal of as many as 1,000 paramilitary personnel, including 300 women, deployed in Darjeeling to maintain law and order during the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state, PTI said.

File image of army forces in Darjeeling. PTI

File image of army forces in Darjeeling. PTI

In a communication, the ministry had said that seven companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), including three women companies, and three companies of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel would be withdrawn from Darjeeling from Monday. One company of paramilitary comprises 100 personnel.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Rajnath Singh not to pull security forces out of the Darjeeling hills and had accused the central government of "conspiring to destabilise" the state. Banerjee said that she had sent letters to Modi and Singh on the withdrawal of the central forces.

The West Bengal BJP has supported the Centre's move to withdraw central forces from Darjeeling claiming the government had been using the force as a shield to foil the agitation against its "anti-people policies" in the region.

Blaming Banerjee for stoking the fire in Darjeeling and tormenting the people there, the party said that the central forces could not be used for "anti-people activities".

"The Centre has the right to decide where they would deploy central forces. It can't be used for anti-people activities and for torturing the commoners. Banerjee should not expect that the central forces would handle the hostility and agitation of people that was created because of her government's anti-people policies," state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.

Ghosh claimed that during his visit to Darjeeling earlier this month, the locals requested him to ask the Centre to withdraw the central forces as, they alleged, they were being used to intimidate and thrash the locals.

With inputs from agencies


Updated Date: Oct 17, 2017 16:02 PM

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