The Supreme Court on Wednesday revoked a Calcutta High Court order on the deployment of additional troops in Darjeeling and Kalimpong areas of West Bengal, ANI reported. The forces were deployed in the region in 2017 to maintain law and order after the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha began fresh agitations for a separate state.
The top court said the Centre can deploy four companies of paramilitary forces till March 8 in the restive regions.
In October 2017, the Centre had decided to withdraw 10 of the 15 companies of paramilitary forces, comprising 1,000 troopers, from the region as it wanted to deploy them at other places during the festival season.
But the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government had moved the Calcutta High Court, asking for a stay on the order. The state government reasoned that the forces were required to maintain law and order in the Hills. The High Court had stayed the withdrawal of central security forces from the region.
In November 2017, the Supreme Court had allowed the Centre to withdraw up to four companies of paramilitary forces. The Home Ministry had contended that the state police must take over as the situation was under control. It had also argued that the judiciary cannot dictate where central forces could be deployed.