Bengal Politics

'Part of a plan to create a civil war?': Mamata alleges unauthorised army deployment across Bengal

The Indian Army has refuted the allegations, calling this a 'routine exercise' in preparation for contingency situation.

The West Bengal government alleged on Thursday that the Indian Army had been deployed across the state without due permission from the state administration. This was after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s claimed that troops had been stationed outside the state secretariat.

Earlier in the day, Banerjee had hosted a press conference where she had alleged that the army was checking vehicles in Dankuni (Hooghly district) and Palsit (Bardhaman). At midnight on Thursday, Banerjee tweeted that the Indian Army has been deployed across 10 districts in West Bengal.

At 10 pm, Banerjee had said that the Army troops were “stationed in front of Nabanno, the Bengal State Secretariat in a high security zone, in spite of Police objection”. The chief minister said she will be stationed at the secretariat till the troops were withdrawn.

The Hindu confirmed that vehicles marked “Military Police” were stationed on a bridge next to the secretariat. Trinamool spokesperson Derek O’ Brien posted videos of the army checking vehicles at the told plaza on the bridge, asserting that state permission for this exercise had not been taken. Banerjee claimed that the army was collecting money from vehicles, asking rhetorically, “Is this the work of the Army?”

Army denial

In a statement, the Indian Army said that the exercise was a conducted regularly, “with the aim of getting statistical data about the load carriers that could be made available to the Army in case of a contingency”.

The Indian Army refuted the West Bengal government’s allegations and claimed that it was “conducting routine exercise with full knowledge and coordination with West Bengal Police”. It also added, “speculation of army taking over toll plaza incorrect”.

The Indian Army’s claim of informing the police was, in turn, refuted by both the West Bengal chief minister as well as the Kolkata Police. The police claimed that while the army had asked for permission to conduct an exercise at the toll plaza, this had been objected to, citing security reasons and traffic inconvenience. Banerjee also expressed scepticism at the claim of data collection. “Doesn’t the National Highway Authority of India have all the required data about vehicular movement,” said the chief minister.

The Congress has expressed support for the Trinamool Congress and officials said the issue will be raised in Parliament on Friday.

Flight trouble

These claims of unauthorised troop deployment come a day after Chief Minister Banerjee had alleged an assassination attempt on her, claiming that her IndiGo flight from Patna on Wednesday night was not allowed to land at Kolkata Airport even as it ran low on fuel.

IndiGo airlines however clarified that the plane was never low on fuel. In a statement issued on Thursday, it said the pilot at no stage declared an emergency or fuel priority for the flight. An emergency landing was accidentally declared because of a “misinterpretation” by the Air Traffic Control, it added.

Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha told the Rajya Sabha that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation will investigate the matter.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

If YOLO is your mantra, get ready to live it the right way

So much to do, so little time!

Carpe Diem! We are a part of the generation that truly knows how to live by those words. We understand the value of everyday and believe that life should be lived in the moment. We fear nothing, except maybe the fear of missing out. We live for an adrenalin rush that keeps us young and makes us feel alive. And what makes this spirit more powerful is that it has captured our collective pulse and has created a refreshed way of life.

Planning for the future has never been our forte, our strength lies more in fuelling our wanderlust and collecting memorable experiences. We love our independence, our freedom of expression and thrive on an ambition of pursuing many passions. How do we keep this spirit alive without letting the rigours of life weigh it down? Maybe it’s time we take a break from seizing the day and pause to look ahead.

Start by making a simple vision board and include all that you want your life to be. Do you dream of sailing across the world or sharing your ideas through your own YouTube channel? Do you see yourself travelling the entire world as a blogger or starting your own café frequented by artists and musicians? Whatever life goals you put down on your vision board can be achieved with determination, passion and a little bit of planning.

Five years ago, IDFC Mutual Fund initiated the conversation on planning in advance for what you might need in the future through the movie ‘One Idiot’. The protagonist of the movie “Bugs Uncle”, enlightened many young Indians about the importance of planning their lives and finances.

Bugs Uncle has returned to once again share his wisdom with the youth and provide a fresh perspective on life. The movie ‘Return of One Idiot’ - an Amole Gupte film and an IDFC MF initiative, shows us how, if we don’t pause for a moment and care to define our future, it’ll lead us down a road none of us wants to visit. And while it’s completely understandable something so far away is tough to think about now, it’s something we shouldn’t neglect either. Watch Bugs Bhargava give you his insights on life in the video below.

Play
Return of One Idiot - An Amole Gupte Film and an IDFC MF Initiative : An IDFC Mutual Fund Investor Awareness Initiative

To know more on how to start a habit of saving and investing, and to learn how to plan your life, join the webinar here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of IDFC Mutual Fund and not by the Scroll editorial team.