Govt yields to Mamata pressure, rebukes Bengal CM
New Delhi: In the wake of ally Trinamool
Congress alleging misuse of central security forces in West
Bengal, Home Minister P Chidambaram has asked what was the
role the forces if armed cadres continue to take on themselves
the duty of maintaining law and order.
In a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee, Chidambaram asked the state government to
ensure the armed cadres are "immediately disarmed and
"If these armed cadres continue to take upon themselves
the duties of maintaining law and order, I wonder what is the
role of security forces, specially central para military
forces which have been deployed at the request of the state
government"? he said.
The Home Minister also said it was "a matter of grave
concern" that these cadres have been provided with arms.
Chidambaram said the "violence presented an alarming
picture, which was completely unacceptable in a democratic
The Home Minister's letter came a day after a Trinamool
Congress delegation had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
conveyed to him alleged misuse of central security forces in
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee had a couple of days ago
threatened to quit as Railway Minister if she was not unable
to prove the charge of misuse of central security forces.
The letter in the backdrop of violent clashes between
cadres of CPI-M and Trinamool Congress in various parts of
Recently, a clash between rival students' groups at a
college in Howrah district claimed the life of a youth who
belonged to SFI, CPI(M)'s student front.
South Begnal districts like Burdwan, Hooghly, Howrah,
South 24-Paragnas and West Midnapore have been witnessing
clashes between the two political parties.
The Home Minister reminded the Chief Minister about a
meeting they had some time back where they discussed about the
'Harmad Vahini' that is active in West Bengal and that has
given rise to apprehension and complaints.
"Complaints and references received by us indicate that
armed cadres of the CPI(M) were deployed in a covert manner
under the guise of 'village protection groups' to guard
against Naxal attacks," he said.
Chidambaram said a sizeable number of armed cadres were
recruited, trained and deployed in West Midnapore.
"There is evidence to show that Harmad camps are mostly
located in CPI(M) party offices and thoses of local (CPI(M)
cadres. It is a matter of grave concern that these cadres have
been provided with fire arms," he said.