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Mamata requests Rajnath for more central forces in Darjeeling hills

Mamata Banerjee with Rajnath singh in Calcutta
Calcutta: Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday requested Union home minister Rajnath Singh to send more central forces to the Darjeeling hills, underscoring the strategic importance of the area that is at the confluence of several international borders, sources said.
According to the sources, Mamata asked Rajnath for more forces, particularly in Darjeeling, which borders Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan and is close to India's frontier with China.
During the interaction between Rajnath and Mamata, held after the meeting on border security, Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba pointed out that the Sashastra Seema Bal already had a substantial presence in the district. But Mamata apparently stressed that she would prefer a "more proactive" central force contingent, like the Central Industrial Security Force.
"She tried to explain that the hills of north Bengal are not only vital strategically but also have been sensitive since June, when the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha renewed its statehood agitation," said a Nabanna official.

According to him, Rajnath neither ruled it out nor gave any assurance. "He said it would be considered."
Only four companies are currently stationed in the hills following a Supreme Court order allowing the Centre to withdraw four companies. Each company has around 100 personnel.

The Telegraph

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