West Bengal police to organise fortnight-long football tournaments in Darjeeling district

 fortnight-long football tournaments in Darjeeling
The West Bengal police will be organising fortnight-long football tournaments in Darjeeling district to rebuild police-public ties which had been affected during the 104-day-long shutdown in the hills.

It will begin from the local police station level this week.

“We want to have good relationship with the locals. There should be trust and mutual respect. We hope that these football tournaments help us to rebuild our relationship,” a senior police officer said.

“We are organising football tournaments in the entire Darjeeling district. These tournaments will help us improve our relationship with the masses,” Inspector General of Police, Darjeeling range, Manoj Verma said.

The police are also ensuring that only local players of these areas participate in the tournaments so that “teams do not get unfair advantage by hiring players from outside Darjeeling”.

The first prize at the local, sub-divisional and the district levels will be Rs. 10,000, Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 1,50,000 respectively.

The tournaments will begin from Tukvar-Goke, Badamtam-Lebong, Pandam-Phubtshering and Pulbazar-Bijanbari, areas in Darjeeling which still have a support base of GJM supremo Bimal Gurung.

“We are receiving a huge response. Nearly 40 teams are participating from these four areas. There are several other teams in the entire district,” said a police officer.

Cash prize

In the district tournament, the winning team will get a cash prize of Rs. 1.5 lakh while the runner-up will get Rs. 1 lakh.

The idea of organising the sports event was taken from the past experience of the police in organising similar tournaments in the Jangalmahal area - comprising forested areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts - once synonymous with Maoist violence.

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