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1 Jul 2017

Bengal government tells HC it needs additional CAPF ....

PTI | 30 Jun 2017| Kolkata: The West Bengal government today told the Calcutta High Court that it urgently needed additional Central Armed Police Force to tackle disturbances in Darjeeling.

"We had made a requisition for 30 companies of CAPF, but have got only 11 companies from the Centre," state Advocate General Kishore Dutta told a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborty.
"We urgently need at least 15 to 20 companies (an addition of four to nine companies to the present deployment) in Darjeeling and Kalimpong," Dutta told the bench which is hearing petitions seeking restoration of normalcy in the Darjeeling hills.
Observing that the issue has to be resolved, the bench directed the state government to make a fresh requisition to the Centre seeking additional forces.
The court also directed additional solicitor general, representing the Union Government, to take instructions from the Centre on its position over deployment of more CAPF in Darjeeling, which has been witnessing large-scale violence since June eight over demands for a separate state, named 'Gorkhaland.'
The ASG was asked to apprise the court of the Centre's stand on July four, when the matter would be taken up for hearing again.
The advocate general informed the court that at present there were 3,506 state police personnel deployed in the hills, while the CAPF deployment was of 704 personnel.
The state's top law officer also submitted that on the court's direction, a copy of the petition and notice had been served on Gurung's office and pasted on its walls.
No lawyer, however, represented Gurung or his party Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is spearheading the movement for a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of West Bengal, during today's hearing.
One of the petitioners submitted that Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung, his wife Asha and several others accused in the killing of All India Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang had been directed to stay in Kolkata from the date of framing of charge in the case and till completion of the trial.
Counsel Indranil Roy submitted that another division bench of the high court, while granting bail to these accused on December 19, 2016, had directed them to stay in Kolkata police area during the said period.
Stating that the bench had directed that the trial court frame charges against the accused by February, 2017, Roy submitted that it should be found out whether charge framing had commenced and if so, Gurung and others had flouted directions of the high court by staying put in Darjeeling.
Upon hearing the submission, acting Chief Justice Mhatre directed the state's advocate general to find out the facts and inform the court.
The trial in the case had been transferred from Darjeeling to Kolkata by the high court on a plea by Tamang's widow that the accused persons could influence witnesses.

MP | 2017-06-30 The state government wrote to the Centre seeking 10 companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to tackle the ongoing unrest in the Hills.
The unrest resulted to the death of a truck driver when the vehicle was set on fire by the agitators on Wednesday. The state government announced a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh and a job to the next to the kin of the victim. Senior IPS officer, Raj Kanijia, DG (Home Guard), has also been sent to Darjeeling to assist his colleagues to tackle the situation in the Hills.
Surajit Kar Purkayastha, Director General of Police, held a press conference in Nabanna on Friday following the fresh trouble in Darjeeling. He said, at present there are seven companies of Seema Suraksha Bal including four women companies deployed in the Hills. "At present, no Army is deployed in Darjeeling and there is a need 10 companies of CRPF," he said adding that the state wrote to the Centre again for the same.
This comes on the day when the Calcutta high court directed the Union government's additional solicitor general to apprise the court on the Centre's stand on deployment of additional force in Darjeeling on July 4. Advocate General Kishore Dutta on Friday submitted before the division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborty that the state had sought for around 30 companies of Central forces and there is an immediate need to deploy at least 15 companies.
Aniket Chetri, the driver of the truck had received severe burn injuries in the incident. He succumbed to his injuries in SSKM Hospital on Friday.
Stating that the state government is always with the affected people, Purkayastha announced in Nabanna on Friday that a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh and a job will be given to the next to the kin of the victim.
He further said hooliganism is going on in Darjeeling. The police are working keeping their patience but they would take stringent measures as and when required.

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