New Delhi: The Indian Army proved the Trinamool government wrong on Friday, in the raging controversy over its exercise in West Bengal. The Army released four letters it had written to different authorities in the West Bengal government to inform them of the exercise and request their cooperation.
The letters the Army released clearly show acknowledgements that they were received by the concerned authorities. This busts West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party’s claim that the Army had been deployed at toll booths across the state as vengeance for Trinamool Congress’s opposition to demonetisation.
The letters were released a little over an hour after the Army’s officiating GoC of Bengal area, Major Gen Sunil Yadav, told a press conference that all necessary departments had been informed and necessary permissions taken. He had also stated that all this had been done on November 24, a week before the exercise.
And the letters release by the Army corroborate Maj Gen Yadav’s statements.
Here are the four letters released by the Army:
Army today strongly rebutted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s allegations that its personnel were deployed at toll plazas without informing the state government and were collecting money, saying the exercise was being carried out in coordination with Kolkata Police.
“This is being done in coordination with local police authorities. The exercise was earlier planned for November 27 and 28. The dates were changed to November 30 to December 2 on a specific request by Kolkata Police due to Bharat Bandh called on November 28,” said GOC Bengal area (officiating) Maj Gen Sunil Yadav.
Reacting to the Chief Minister’s allegations he said, “We deny all charges with all contempt.”
“Allegations of collection of money by Army personnel are also totally baseless,” the officiating GOC Bengal Area said.
Mamata had yesterday alleged that the army had been deployed without informing the state government.
“This is unprecedented and a very serious matter”, she had said.
She had also claimed that the army personnel were collecting money from vehicles, which they were not supposed to.
Maj Gen Yadav said a similar exercise in Eastern Command was carried out in November 2015 at the same places.
The Maj Gen said that a recce was conducted with two inspectors of the Kolkata Police at toll plaza on November 27 last.
“The issues raised by the police were addressed and were telephonically informed to the police,” he said.
The exercise will continue as planned earlier and will end tonight, he said.