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Mamata Banerjee refuses to leave office over army deployment at toll plazas

The Army said they were conducting routine exercise with full knowledge and coordination with West Bengal police

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee. Photo: PTI
Photo: PTI

After a high drama over "deployment of army" at certain toll plazas in West Bengal, Chief Minister decided to stay put at the state secretariat 'Nabanna' on Thursday night, even after the force was removed from a near it as per her demand. "I am the custodian of common people. So I can't leave them insecured. I will stay put here for the whole night and observe the situation," Banerjee told reporters at around 1.30 AM. About her demand that she would leave the office only when Armymen were removed from the second Hooghly bridge near Nabanna, she said, "these people may have gone.

But they are there in 18 other districts." Sometime before her press meet, journalists went to the near Nabanna and found that the Armymen were no longer there. A temporary shed set up for them was also removed. There was no official version of the about the removal. Accusing the Centre of deploying the at toll plazas in without informing the state government, Banerjee had refused to leave the office till the Armymen were withdrawn from the at second Hooghly bridge. The said they were conducting routine exercise with full knowledge and coordination with police. "conducting routine exercise with full knowledge & coord with WB Police. Speculation of taking over incorrect," the Eastern command said on Twitter. "Routine exercise in all NE states. In Assam@18 places, Arunanchal@13, WB@19, Manipur@6, Nagaland@5, Meghalaya@5, Tripura & Mizoram@1", it said. The Kolkata police, however, said they have raised objection to this exercise due to security reasons and traffic problem. "exercise at was objected to in writing by Kolkata Police, citing security reasons & traffic inconvenience," the city police said on Twitter. The drama unfolded in the evening when Banerjee alleged that deployment was done in toll plazas without informing the state government and described it as "unprecedented" and "a very serious situation worse than Emergency". She claimed that people got panicky due to deployment of at toll plazas.

First Published: Fri, December 02 2016. 02:22 IST