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4 Jul 2017

Darjeeling unrest: West Bengal asks Centre to withdraw women CRPF, replace SSB with CRPF force

Bharti Jain | TNN | Jul 3, 2017, NEW DELHI: The West Bengal government has sought withdrawal of nearly 100 women CRPF personnel sent to Darjeeling last month to tackle the unrest there, apart from asking the home ministry to replace around 300 Sashastra Seema Bal troops stationed in the hills with CRPF personnel.
While the home ministry's immediate reaction was that the demand of Mamata Banerjee regime was "inappropriate" considering that a state cannot specify the Central force to be spared for aiding the police in law and order duties, it has nevertheless asked for a formal report on the law and order situation in Darjeeling and adjoining areas. 
The report is also expected to indicate the reasons for the West Bengal government's unusual demand seeking replacement of women CRPF personnel with their male counterparts as well as deployment of CRPF instead of SSB. 
This is for the second time that the central government has sought a report from the state on the crisis being witnessed in Darjeeling for the past 20 days. 
As many as 10 companies of Central forces, including SSB troops, were deployed in Darjeeling since violent protests broke out there. Last month, the West Bengal has sought two woman para-military companies (nearly 200 personnel) for the hill areas, but the home ministry decided to spare just one company (100 personnel). 
According to a home ministry spokesperson, the reasons for seeking recall of women CRPF personnel and bringing in CRPF rather than SSB to manage the law and order crisis in Darjeeling, "were not immediately known".

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