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Mamata orders watchtowers, CCTV cameras along Bengal-Jharkhand border

Though the two states share a 380-km border, she has asked that the vigil be maintained along the areas once dominated by Maoists.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2018 19:56 IST
Koushik Dutta
Koushik Dutta
Hindustan Times, Midnapore
Mamata Banerjee,watchtowers,CCTV
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee asked that the vigil be maintained along the areas once dominated by Maoists. (PTI)

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has asked the police to erect watchtowers and install CCTV cameras along 110 km of the state’s border with Jharkhand to prevent the alleged entry of miscreants.

Though the two states share a 380-km border, she has asked that the vigil be maintained along the areas once dominated by Maoists.

During an administrative review meeting in Purulia district on Tuesday, Mamata said the police and Western Region development board will release the necessary funds.

“The problem is acute in the border area and miscreants are entering the state, committing crime and going back. The goons of that state are hired to kill a person. After the crime, a section of the people make a song and dance over it. I think that the border should be sealed. But, initially CCTVs should be installed in the area and watchtowers erected,” she said.

Over the past few months, she and her Trinamool Congress leaders have alleged that Maoists from BJP-ruled Jharkhand have started movements to Bengal, and alleged that the saffron camp is instigating the rebels.

“The saffron brigade is sending Maoists from Jharkhand to create turmoil in the area and trigger a blood bath again,” Banerjee alleged on Monday from the dais of a government programme in neighbouring Jhargram district.

Hitting back, BJP Bengal president Dilip Ghosh said, “The state government has not cooperated with the Centre by giving land for erecting a fence along a several hundred kilometres of Indo-Bangladesh border. If she is so concerned with security, let her fulfil this requirement first. How can she restrict movement between two states, and why is she so scared of Jharkhand?”

During Tuesday’s meeting, district police superintendent Akash Magharia told her that they have deployed additional force in the area. But Mamata said the step would fail as the area had thick forests and difficult terrain.

The Maoists had a nearly free run in vast swathes of the four districts of West Midnapore, Bankura, Jhargram and Purulia between 2009 and 2011, during which about 500 people lost their lives in clashes.

The Trinamool chief also attended a meeting of Hindi-speaking people of the district, where she lashed out at the BJP.

“They are creating fear in the minds of the people. I am getting information that BJP will lose the Assembly elections in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh,” she said.

First Published: Nov 27, 2018 19:56 IST