Ultra Left extremists inciting trouble in Darjeeling, Kalimpong: West Bengal to HC
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Kolkata: The West Bengal state administration on Friday told the Calcutta high court that ultra Left extremists from a “neighbouring country” were inciting trouble in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts with the aim of undermining governance, while assessing the financial loss due to the agitation for Gorkhaland at Rs355 crore.
Describing the movement for a separate state for the Nepali-speaking community as an “insurgency”, and the current situation as “extremely alarming”, Anuj Sharma, the state’s additional director general of police (law and order), said in an affidavit that “with the help of conspirators” miscreants had snatched at least half a dozen firearms and several rounds of ammunition from security forces since 20 June. The lost firearms include a self-loading rifle, he said.
A bench comprising chief justice Nishita Mhatre and Tapabrata Chakraborty on Friday asked the Centre to dispatch within 48 hours at least four additional companies of central forces, augmenting the currently deployment of 11 companies, after the state alleged that the Union home ministry was not immediately willing to send more forces to West Bengal.
“There is serious intelligence report that Maoists from neighbouring country have infiltrated the area and are going to target government officials working in the hills as also burn down government buildings,” Sharma said in his report. He said West Bengal needed more central paramilitary forces because of “huge vacancies” in the state police.
The administration said the Centre should not re-deploy central paramilitary forces from areas affected by so called Left Wing Extremism (LWE), and that only additional forces should be sent to Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts.
“There is specific intelligence input that Maoists from Jharkhand are crossing into West Bengal and will make strong attempts to regroup in LWE districts of West Bengal if forces are withdrawn,” Sharma said in his statement to the court.
The affidavit shows that a permanent solution to the problems has still not been found, a key state government official said, asking not to be identified.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had recently said the Centre was to blame for the unrest in Darjeeling and North 24 Parganas because it could not secure international borders. Trespassers from Bangladesh and Nepal were stirring up unrest in the state with political motivation, she had alleged.
Sharma said in view of the routine workload of the police, the state was unable to deploy more forces from its own resources to deal with the unrest in Darjeeling.
He also said 54 vehicles and 73 government properties had been vandalised so far, and at least 113 law enforcement personnel injured.