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'Centre trying to destabilise Bengal': Mamata Banerjee opposes removal of forces from Darjeeling

She accused the Centre and BJP of hatching a conspiracy. "They are conspiring to destabilise Bengal so that violence keeps on occurring," she said.
Mamata opposes removal of forces from Darjeeling... Source: PTI
Reported by: PTI Kolkata October 16, 2017 19:07 IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh not to pull security forces out of the Darjeeling hills and accused the Centre of "conspiring to destabilise" the state. 

Banerjee said she had sent letters to Modi and Singh on the withdrawal of the Central forces. 

"I have written to the prime minister and the home minister and asked them not to withdraw the forces from the hills," she told a press conference at the state secretariat here after an all-party meeting on Darjeeling. 

Describing the withdrawal decision as unilateral and unfortunate, Banerjee said, "The Central government is being run from the BJP party office. It is really unfortunate that the Central government has taken such a bad decision unilaterally to withdraw forces from the hills". 

She accused the Centre and BJP of hatching a conspiracy. "They are conspiring to destabilise Bengal so that violence keeps on occurring," she said. 

The Centre has said it will withdraw 10 of the 15 companies in the region, she added.

"Union Home minister Rajnath Singh told me seven companies would be withdrawn. I want to ask why this step-motherly attitude towards Bengal when huge numbers of Central forces are deployed in other states," she said. 

Accusing BJP's Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia of helping fugitive GJM supremo Bimal Gurung foment trouble in the region, she said the BJP was allowing the hills to "burn for the sake of a seat". 

The all-party meeting decided to work together for the restoration of peace in the hills. It was attended by several hill parties excluding the Jan Andolan Party (JAP).

Banerjee said the next such meeting would be held on November 21 at Pintail village in Darjeeling district. 

 

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