Eastern Command Refutes Mamata’s Allegations

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Kolkata: Hours after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Centre of creating a situation ‘worse than Emergency’, Northern Command said on Monday evening that contrary to speculation, Army taking over toll plaza in Kolkata was incorrect.

The Army tweeted saying:  “Army conducting routine exercise with full knowledge and coordination with West Bengal Police. Speculation of Army taking over toll plaza incorrect.”

Mamata had accused the Centre of deploying Army personnel at two toll plazas on a national highway without informing her government.

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Talking to reporters at the state secretariat, she had alleged that Army was deployed at two toll plazas at Palsit and Dankuni on NH 2.

“It is an attack on the federal structure. We want to know the details. The chief secretary is writing to the Centre. Given an opportunity I will talk to the President on the issue. Has Emergency been imposed in the country without declaration?” she had asked.

“I don’t know what has actually happened. Even if there is mock-trial, state government is informed,” she had said.

Earlier, responding to TMC leader’s claims, a defence spokesperson had said that Army conducts bi-annual exercise throughout the country to get statistical data about the load carriers that could be made available to the force in case of a contingency.

“There is nothing alarming about this and it is carried out as per government orders,” Wing Commander SS Birdi had said, as per PTI.

The exercise gives an estimate about the number of vehicles passing through a certain area that could be tapped during operations, he had added.