CRPF will not be withdrawn from West Bengal: Vijay Kumar


Kolkata: Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel deployed in the Maoist-affected districts of West Bengal will not be withdrawn, CRPF director general K. Vijay Kumar said Tuesday.

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“There is no question of withdrawing the forces. The personnel are working independently and will continue to work in this manner,” said Kumar.

Kumar’s comments came a day after Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee announced that her party would hold a rally in the city Saturday demanding immediate withdrawal of the joint forces, alleging they were being used to further the interests of the ruling Marxists.

The state has 3,000 CRPF personnel deployed in counter-insurgency operations, in addition to 2,000 personnel of the state police.

Kumar was briefing reporters after a meeting with senior CRPF and state police officers deployed in the four Maoist-affected districts of Bankura, Purulia, West Midnapore and Jhargram to review the overall situation.

When asked about Banerjee’s demand that the joint forces be pulled out from these districts, Kumar said: “I cannot answer any political question, but I can say that the joint forces’ offensive will continue until the Maoists are flushed out.”

Asked about allegations that leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) are setting up camps in the area to shelter their “hooligans” with the help of the joint forces, Kumar replied that he had not come across any such complaints.

Kumar, who flew into Lalgarh Tuesday morning, toured the area and visited all the nearby CRPF camps. He also spoke to the villagers and enquired about their problems.