Calcutta HC orders stay on taking central forces out of Darjeeling
Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday ordered a stay on the withdrawal of central security forces from the Hills.
The court asked the Centre to file an affidavit on the matter by October 23 and told the Bengal government to submit its reply on October 26. The court will hear the case next on October 27.
Bengal had earlier moved the High Court asking for the stay on the withdrawal of the forces to maintain law and order in the region.
The state government filed an appeal before the Vacation Bench comprising Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Debangshu Basak to stay the order of the Central government. The Counsel of the Centre said the force will be required for the Assembly election in Himachal Pradesh scheduled to be held on November 9.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has welcomed the High Court order. She said "I had said on Monday that the Centre had flouted the court order by withdrawing the forces. We have to bear the expenses of the Central forces. In 2016 Assembly election Rs 200 crore was spent for the Central forces. Seven companies of forces had been withdrawn during Uttar Pradesh Assembly election."
It may also be mentioned that the Chief Minister had sent letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home minister Rajnath Singh requesting them to reconsider the decision. Talking to newsmen at Nabanna on Monday, she had alleged that the order to withdraw the forces was issued without consulting the state government. She also added that after many efforts, peace had been restored in the Hills. But when the process to restore peace is on, Sub-Inspector Amitava Malik was shot dead. Under such a situation, withdrawal of forces has been "politically motivated." Moreover, the Hills have international borders with Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh and so withdrawal of forces from the Hills was uncalled for, she added.