IRB jawans agitating to protest alleged risky post
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Last Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2011, 19:07
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 yesterday.

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 sent.

"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.


First Published: Thursday, September 22, 2011, 19:07

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