POLITICS

Army Refuses To Withdraw Troops Despite Mamata Banerjee's Threat To Take Legal Action Against Centre

"If Government doesn't withdraw army deployed in the state, we will fight legally."

03/12/2016 9:34 AM IST | Updated 03/12/2016 9:51 AM IST
Rupak De Chowdhuri / Reuters

KOLKATA -- Finally leaving the secretariat office after 36 hours, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came out guns blazing at the Centre as she threatened to take legal action against the Narendra Modi government if Army deployment is not removed from certain areas across the state.

"If Government doesn't withdraw army deployed in the state, we will fight legally," she said after emerging from the Secretariat. Responding to a poser whether the West Bengal government, if required, is ready to take legal action against central government to which Mamata said, "Action has already been initiated."

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief also branded the present regime as a 'daku government', further alleging that the Centre is looting the country.

"Modi government has become 'Daku government', just want to say that Modi ji is looting people's money," she added.

Meanwhile, responding to Mamata's ultimatum, Wing Commander S S Birdi of the Eastern Command CPRO said 'the Army deployment (in West Bengal) won't be called off as it is a routine exercise and will continue till Friday midnight'. Upon being asked whether the deployment details about the army would be disclosed, Birdi said, "We can't disclose the army deployment details as of now but army will not be called off."

Mamata has accused the central government of 'deploying the army' along a highway toll plaza at the second Hooghly Bridge, about 500 metres from the secretariat 'Nabanna' in neighbouring Howrah district.

Earlier on Friday, TMC threw an open challenge to the Centre to come forth with the documents proving that the West Bengal Government gave the green signal for the deployment of Army troops in certain areas in the state.

Speaking to ANI here, TMC spokesperson Derek O'Brien asserted that no such document existed, adding that he would hang his head in shame if the government could prove him otherwise.

"It's on open challenge. Has the state government of West Bengal given permission to the government of India to deploy the Army? There is no such letter of permission. In fact the MoS Defence has laid on the table of the Rajya Sabha that the Kolkata police refused to give permission. I challenge you to show me a document where the state government has given the permission," he said.

However, the Army letters show that it was in communication with the West Bengal police on the annual exercise to 'gather statistical data about load carriers that could be made available to the army in case of a contingency'.

Nevertheless, the Parliament again witnessed ruckus on Friday as the opposition continued to corner the Centre over the army's deployment in West Bengal.

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