Director General of Police on a two day visit of the Hills of North Bengal
Darjeeling: At the time when a young Sub Inspector has fallen prey to bullets in the Darjeeling Hills; a large cache of automatic weapons have been recovered and Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) companies are being withdrawn from the Hills, Director General of Police, West Bengal is on a two day visit of Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Along with taking stock of the situation it is seen as a move to boost the morale of the police force.
Surajit Kar Purkayastha, The DGP arriving at the Darjeeling sadar police station interacted with police personnel across the rank and file. He talked to the Counter Insurgency Force personnel inquiring about their preparedness.
Incidentally the DGP had visited the Hills on July 24. Despite the ongoing agitation the DGP had stated that the situation was normal and under control. However police insiders claim that during his last visit the DGP was worried about the sagging morale of the police force then.
"I have come here for overall stock taking. The police are doing a commendable job here. Everything is normal. There are tourists too. We want more tourists to come as the situation is normal" stated the DGP.
Before visiting the police station, the DGP visited the explosion site at the Darjeeling Motor Stand.
During the 104 day long bandh, on August 19 a high intensity blast had occurred at the Darjeeling Motor Stand in Darjeeling at around 12:30am.
The blast had taken place at the Motor Stand in front of the Super Market. A crater was formed on the road. The intensity of the blast had shattered the glass window panes of nearby building were shattered. The splinters (cut outs from iron sheets and rods) from the explosive had made holes in the shutters of shops. The splinters had shot distances of 30 to 40 meters.
The DGP also paid a visit to Roy Villa located on Lebong Cart Road. From Roy Villa located on a vantage point, he was shown the Tukvar, Singla Forest Area where clashes had taken place between security forces and Gurung's supporters on October 13.
The clash had left 26 year old Sub Inspector Amitava Malik dead. Malik was shot down when he was allegedly in pursuit of Gurung and his men.
On his way back the DGP visited the Singamari area where the GJM party office is located. The area had witnessed numerous flashpoints between security forces and GJM supporters during the near four month long political unrest including a 104 day long bandh.
The DGP will be visiting Kalimpong on Tuesday. On Wednesday he will depart for Kolkata.
When questioned on the withdrawal of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF,) the DGP stated "We have written to the Centre regarding this."
The Union Government has ordered the withdrawal of 10 companies of CAPF out of the 15 companies deployed in the Hills from Monday. The remaining 5 companies will be withdrawn by October 20.
Vehemently criticizing the "unilateral" decision of the Union Government to withdraw the CAPF, West Bengal Chief Minister talking to media persons in "Nabannya" the State Secretariat, stated "At the time when normality and peace is returning the Union Government has unilaterally decided to withdraw the CAPF. I have written to Prime Minister Modi and the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh that CAPF should not be withdrawn. I even called up Minister Singh."
The CM labeled it a "bad political and administrative decision." Banerjee blamed it on the State BJP. "This has been done on the recommendations of the State BJP. BJP is trying its best to foment trouble in the Hills and to create unrest in the Hills. BJP party is more important to the Union Government than the State, Country, Constitution and even the federal structure of our country. The BJP's aim is to divide Bengal" alleged the CM.
The CM stated that the Union had decided to pull out the Central forces at a time when peace and normality were returning; huge cache of arms has been recovered; an SI has been shot down.
"They are doing this as because we are not with them politically. It is a very dangerous thing that they are doing. However we are ready to sacrifice ourselves for Darjeeling. In case of any untoward incident the Union Government will be to blame Because we are fighting against the BJP they are discriminating Bengal," retorted Banerjee.
Backing her allegation with statistics, the West Bengal, Chief Minister stated that while there were 402 companies of CAPF in Jammu and Kashmir; 252 companies in Chattisgarh; 144 companies in Jharkhand; 120 companies in North East; 40 companies in Delhi; 84 companies in Orissa; 48 in Bihar at present. "However they are going all out to withdraw CAPF from West Bengal. It is unethical, undemocratic and unconstitutional" added the CM.
She pointed fingers at North East Insurgent groups; a neighbouring state; a neighbouring country and the Union Government for the unrest Darjeeling.
Meanwhile a suo moto FIR has been lodged at the Darjeeling Sadar police station in Darjeeling in connection with the death of SI Amitava Malik. 20 persons including GJM President Bimal Gurung have been named in this FIR along with others.