IRB jawans agitating to protest alleged risky post

The jawans` protest-agitation was confirmed today by the IG (Western Zone), Zulfikar Hasan.

Durgapur/Kolkata: Several jawans of the
Indian Reserve Battalion, engaged in anti-Maoist operation,
have gone on an agitation in their camps in West Bengal to
protest against alleged prolonged posting in risky areas and
apathy of the authorities.

The jawans, posted at Silda, Salboni, Garbeta in West
Midnapore district, Durgapur in Burdwan district, Suri in
Birbhum district and Sarenga and Majhgeria in Bankura
district, were fasting in front of their camps since

The jawans` protest-agitation was confirmed today by
the IG (Western Zone), Zulfikar Hasan.

Hasan said, ``Efforts were being made by senior police
officials to convince the demonstrating jawans to withdraw
their agitation.``

State Home Secretary G D Gautama said the government
was looking into the possibility of whether there was any
instigation behind the agitation.

DG, Armed police, Gautam Mohan Chakraborty, has been
sent to the area to assess the situation and submit a report
to the government, Gautama said.

Reports from Jhargram in West Midnapore said at least
58 jawans were protesting at the Silda camp since yesterday.

An IRB jawan told PTI that according to the rule, a
team sent on routine patrol in the Maoist-hit areas has to
consist of 27 constables. But in reality, only seven to 10 are

"This makes us more vulnerable to Maoist attacks," the
jawan said.

At least 487 IRB jawans were fasting since midnight in
front of the headquarters of the paramilitary force at
Durgapur in Burdwan district.

Another IRB man said at the time of recruitment it was
assured that they would be provided facilities at par with
central forces but they are prevented from taking leave,
placed at Jangalmahal for a prolonged period and are given
round-the-clock duty.

The jawans at the IRB camp at Shilda, where Maoists had
killed 26 Eastern Frontier Rifles jawans in February last
year, allegedly did not allow officers from the nearby Binpur
police station to enter their camp when they went to pacify
them last night.


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