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11 Jul 2017

Mamata border barb at Centre.....outsiders" from across the border had fomented tension in Basirhat and the Darjeeling hills

Anshuman Phadikar, TT, Nandakumar, July 10: Mamata Banerjee today held the Centre responsible for the unrest in Basirhat and Darjeeling and accused the BJP of trying to destabilise her government.
"Borders are looked after by the Centre, not the state government.... Along the Bangladesh border, there is the BSF and in Darjeeling, the SSB. Despite the borders being guarded by central agencies, how can outsiders enter and create trouble?" the chief minister asked during a programme in East Midnapore's Nandakumar.
Mamata's comments came against the backdrop of allegations that "outsiders" from across the border had fomented tension in Basirhat and the Darjeeling hills.
Though Mamata had earlier blamed the Centre for the recent troubles in the state, she appeared more aggressive today.
Sources said her attack on the Narendra Modi government today was based on reports from the district authorities in North 24-Parganas and Darjeeling.
"It was outsiders who had ignited the communal tension in Basirhat by taking active part in spreading the violence. The group went back when the unrest spread to larger areas. The district officials have raised questions in their report on how the trouble-makers were allowed to enter the area freely," said a Nabanna official.
According to some government officials, the Bengal government would conduct a "full-fledged inquiry" before sending a detailed report to Delhi on the situation in Basirhat.
"The government needs to be airtight in its report," said an official.
The sources said there had been similar reports on the role of outsiders in creating tension in the hills.
The chief minister today also blamed the Centre for not sending adequate forces to the hills, making it difficult for the state to handle the situation alone.
"Unfortunately, the Centre is not cooperating. We are yet to get adequate central forces for Darjeeling. We heard that today the Centre had asked us to withdraw forces from Jhargram and deploy them in the hills. We won't accept that," she said.
Mamata was referring to a meeting between Union home ministry officials and additional director-general Anuj Sharma on the requirement of central forces in Darjeeling.
So far, 11 companies of central forces are deployed in the hills, of which three companies are of the SSB and three of the CRPF's women force.
Each company has around 100 personnel.

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