The Centre has ordered withdrawal of 13 companies of CRPF from North Bengal, citing “no instance of militancy” in the region for more than a year, even as the state government has opposed the move.
According to the order, five companies from North Bengal would move to Assam on Thursday while rest of the companies would move to other destinations on July 31.
Reacting sharply to the order, the state government has written to the Union home ministry demanding a stay on the order. The letter mentions the decision has been taken without consulting the state government.
Significantly, five companies of CRPF were deployed in Darjeeling while two companies were deployed in Jalpaiguri and rest of the forces were deployed in other parts in North Bengal.
According to a senior official of CRPF, the central government has decided six companies to training camps as they were deployed without completing the training period. Two companies will be sent to Punjab.
“The law and order situation is peaceful in Darjeeling and in other parts in North Bengal. The state government has accepted it several times. So, there is no need for forces to be deployed in the region. Assam, from where the companies came, is in need of central forces,” said a senior CRPF official.
At present, more than 30 companies are deployed in Junglemehal, too.
“The Centre is going to withdraw CRPF forces from sensitive areas in Bengal. This is unprecedented. Bengal has battled Maoists and peace now prevails in Junglemahal. The CRPF forces can only be withdrawn after consultation with the state government. If the decision to withdraw the CRPF is not reconsidered, the situation will become chaotic,” said Sudip Bandyopadhyay, chief whip of TMC, in Lok Sabha.