Kolkata: Calcutta High Court on Tuesday stayed the BJP-led central government’s decision to pull out Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) troops from Darjeeling until October 27 in response to the West Bengal government’s challenge to centre’s order for forces withdrawal.
The court has also asked the Centre to file an affidavit on the matter by October 23 and told the West Bengal government to submit reply on October 26. The court will hear the case next on October 27.
West Bengal had earlier moved the High Court asking for the stay on the withdrawal of the forces to maintain law and order in the region.
The central home ministry had on Sunday ordered to pull out ten out of the 15 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) companies deployed in the hills. The home ministry had ordered the withdrawal of as many as 1000 Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel including 300 women troopers deployed at Darjeeling hills to maintain law and order during the agitation for separate Gorkhaland state.
In an official communication, the ministry had ordered seven companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), including three women companies, and three companies of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel to be withdrawn from Darjeeling from Monday.
The West Government and Trinamool Congress welcomed the high court’s decision.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday had accused the centre of “conspiring to destablise” the state in a press conference at the state secretariat in Kolkata after an all-party meeting on the Darjeeling situation.
Banerjee then had told the media that she had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh not to pull out central forces from Darjeeling hills.