Bandh: CRPF deployment planned

Statesman News Service SILIGURI, June 9: The administration in north Bengal is contemplating to bring in 10 companies of Central Reserve Police Force to Siliguri in view of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha’s call for an indefinite bandh covering the Darjeeling hills, the Terai and parts of the Dooars from tomorrow. According to the IGP, north Bengal, Mr Kundan Lal Tamta, the local administration does not want to take any chance after the violence at Bagdogra and Naxalbari yesterday. “I am in touch with the state DGP and deployment of the CRPF in the sensitive areas of Siliguri is a serious consideration,” he said. “We are apprehending further violence in case the GJMM tries to enforce the bandh in the non-Gorkha dominated Siliguri sub-division. To ward off hostilities we are considering bringing in 10 companies of CRPF to Siliguri. The state police authorities are discussing the issue with the Union home ministry for a green signal,” Mr Tamta said.Adding further, the IGP said that in case the Centre concedes, the CRPF personnel would assist the state police in tackling the law and order situation in sensitive parts of the Siliguri sub-division. It may here be mentioned that a CRPF base is already in place near the north Bengal Medical College in Siliguri, but the paramilitary jawans cannot be deployed for maintaining local law and order situation without the Centre’s approval. Meanwhile, the prohibitory orders under Section 144 promulgated at Bagdogra and Naxalbari in Siliguri sub-division following the widespread violence last evening, continues to be in place even though there was no report of any fresh violence today. Following a negotiation with the agitators at Naxalbari, the local administration shifted nine GJMM fasters to the Kurseong sub-divisional hospital this afternoon, although the remaining five are continuing with their hunger strike launched on 2 June demanding permission for a public rally at Naxalbari. Of the total 17 fasters there, two had deserted the venue during the violence last evening, while one faster was shifted to the NBMCH on 6 June, the Naxalbari BDO, Mr Hemant Sewa said. The GJMM activists, however, are continuing the fast at Bagdogra, Pradhannagar and Salugara turning down the administration’s request for medical treatment.

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