West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s claims that the army had been deployed in the state without the permission of the state government seems to be backfiring as the army was reported to have submitted relevant documents. According to India Today, these documents reveal that the Army had sought proper permission from the required administrative department and asked the Mamata Banerjee government about the exercise that was carried out at toll plazas. The documents further explain the reasons for such exercises. According to India Today, such military exercises were also carried out through the states of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar as well.
Reports also suggest that such exercises have been carried out in the state of West Bengal in previous years as well. India Today reports that the army has submitted 4 documents which have been stamped, signed as received by the departments of the West Bengal government. Earlier Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had also said that it was unfortunate that the Army was being brought into the unnecessary controversy. He had also clarified that the allegations about the army collecting money at toll plazas across the state were completely baseless. Parrikar had informed the Lok Sabha that the army had been deployed in West Bengal and northeastern states as the part of a routine exercise.
Army’s letters (written earlier) in connection with the force deployment in West Bengal. pic.twitter.com/YUm4BiOI5k
— ANI (@ANI_news) December 2, 2016
Earlier today, Mamata Banerjee, who had reportedly stayed at the state government secretariat “guarding our democracy” said that the army’s deployment at toll plazas was the case of a military coup. Speaking to reporters Banerjee said that her officials checked in states like Odisha, Bihar, Kerala, Chattisgarh and no such thing were reported in these states. Banerjee said that the army deployment was just the case in West Bengal. Banerjee said that she would wait at the secretariat till the Army stationed at the Bengal state government secretariat in Nabanno was withdrawn. Banerjee said that the army was stationed despite the objection of the police.