Army in WB: Routine exercise, controversy ‘saddening’, says Manohar Parrikar

He added that the exercise was scheduled to happen on December 28, 29 and 30, but shifted to December 1, 2 on the request of Kolkata police.

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New Delhi, Dec 2: Speaking on the issue of army presence in West Bengal, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said it was a "routine exercise" which was turned into a "controversy".

"Saddening that a routine exercise has been made a controversy now," said Parrikar in the Lok Sabha.

Manohar Parrikar

He added that the exercise was scheduled to happen on December 28, 29 and 30, but shifted to December 1, 2 on the request of Kolkata police.

Earlier, the Trinamool Congress and other opposition parties raised the issue of army deployment in various toll booths across West Bengal in both the houses of Parliament.

[Also Read: Army not collecting toll in West Bengal: Maj Gen Sunil Yadav

The West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that the presence of uniformed men on the streets was akin to "military coup".

In fact, on Thursday night she refused to leave the state secretariat building as a mark of protest against army presence in several toll gates across the state.

She was particularly angry over deployment of army men near Nabanna, as the state secretariat building is called.
OneIndia News

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