Centre ready to offer all help to Bengal govt
The Centre on Tuesday despatched 600 paramilitary personnel to assist the West Bengal government in restoring normalcy in violence-hit Darjeeling hills which witnessed incidents of stone pelting on the second day of GJM-sponsored indefinite bandh.
The Centre also sought a detailed report on the prevailing situation in the hill district from the state government.
A Union home ministry spokesperson said that as many as 600 paramilitary personnel, including 200 women, were sent to Darjeeling.
Around 400 personnel, already stationed in West Bengal, have also been deployed in the hill areas along with additional forces.
The home ministry said it was closely monitoring the situation in Darjeeling and was ready to offer all assistance to the state government to restore normalcy there.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat in Kolkata that the situation in the hill district was under control.
She, however, said that the Centre did not seek any report on the Darjeeling situation from the state government.
As their indefinite shutdown entered its second day on Tuesday, protesters demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland hurled stones at the police at Chowkbazar area in Darjeeling after they were stopped from enforcing their shutdown in many government offices.
Senior police officers were seen leading large police contingents in various parts of the hills.
Police pickets and barricades were put up in front of the government and the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) offices and various entry and exit points of the hills, while Rapid Action Force (RAF) and a sizable number of women police personnel were also deployed.
Shops downed shutters as the violence broke out.
On Monday too, Gorkhaland supporters vandalised government offices as the GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown forced tourists out of the picturesque hill station due to the threat of violence.
The GJM, which controls the GTA, has called a shutdown of all state and GTA offices to press its demand for creation of a separate state.