Gorkhaland protests: Army withdrawn from north Bengal hills
The army has been withdrawn from the north Bengal hills with improvement in the situation, an official said on Wednesday.
Kolkata: The army has been withdrawn from the north Bengal hills with improvement in the situation, an official said on Wednesday.
The army had been deployed in the hills following large-scale violence unleashed by Gorkhaland protesters.
"The six columns of army that was posted in hills have been de-requisitioned after the state government said that they do not need the army and would be able to handle the situation with their own resources," said Wing Commander SS Birdi, chief public relations officer of defence ministry.
One column of army comprises 43 personnel, he said.
The officer said the proposal from the state was sent to the army command on 24 June and the de-requisition process was started over the weekend.
The army was called in after thousands of angry Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists demanding a separate Gorkhaland state indulged in arson and pelted stones at police, injuring 15, while around 45,000 tourists were stranded in the northern West Bengal hills due to the violence.
The GJM has claimed that two of their supporters were shot dead by police in Singmari but the police rejected the allegations
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she will never support the division of the state and urged all political parties in the hills to restore peace and normal life in Darjeeling, where the indefinite shutdown entered its 48th day.
The agitation and the indefinite strike to press for separate Gorkhaland will continue in deference to the wishes of the people of the region, the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) said on Monday.