Mamata writes to Modi, Rajnath to protest removing central forces from Darjeeling
Kolkata: Fuming over the centre deciding to withdraw a substantial section of the central forces deployed in the Darjeeling hills, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday shot off "strong letters" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding the BJP-led government reverse its stand.
Banerjee also called up Rajnath Singh and requested him not to withdraw the centre forces.
"Earlier, they had decided to withdraw 10 of the 15 companies of central forces deployed in Darjeeling. Now, after I spoke to Rajnathji ... because I consider him a good man, he told me they will withdraw seven companies. But still, eight companies is inadequate," Banerjee told media persons here after holding a meeting with some of the political parties of Darjeeling hills.
In her letters to Modi and Rajnath, the Chief Minister termed the decision "unfortunate" and "unilateral".
"Today I have written letters to the honourable Prime Minister and the Home Minister.
"I said it was an unfortunate fact, in the present circumstances what you have done is not right. We don't want any company should be withdrawn from there," Banerjee said, reading out from the letters.
Refering to a July 14 Calcutta High Court directive asking the Central government to provide adequate central forces till the restoration of peace in the northern hills, she said: "This is a very unfortunate thing that the honourable High Court's order has been violated".
Claiming that some bordering countries as also insurgent groups from the Northeast were colluding with the troublemakers in Darjeeling, her missive said: "At a time when we are trying to restore normalcy and peace, withdrawing central forces in this emergent situation runs contrary to common sense.
"You will consider that we cannot agree that security and integrity of our nation should be compromised."
Banerjee told the media that the centre has sent out a wrong message to the state government.
"So as Chief Minister, I have written a strong letter to them... I request the centre to see the issue not from a narrow political angle, but they must see the issue broad-heartedly, see it as an important and sensitive issue," she said.
She called the centre's decision "unethical, unconstitutional, undemocratic, and contrary to the federal structure" and expressed hope that after receiving her letter, the centre would ensure justice.
"I think after getting my letter we will get justice form PM and the home minister. They should not create any confusion where security is involved."
Banerjee also warned that if "anything happens" in Darjeeling, the central government will be held responsible.