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Home > India > News > PTI

Gorkhaland issue: Army on alert in Siliguri

June 12, 2008 21:08 IST

The Army has been put on alert and six companies of the Central Reserve Police Force have been asked to reach Siliguri from nearby Salugarah and Assam's Bongaingaon on Thursday night to tackle the situation following clashes between pro and anti-Gorkhaland supporters there.

The West Bengal government, which earlier asked the army to patrol streets in Siliguri and its vicinity following the clashes, later changed its decision after a review of the situation, Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee said on Thursday evening.

"The change in our decision to call army was prompted by the review of the situation which later improved," he told media persons at the state Secretariat.

"There was no alternative but to call the army at one point of time as it was causing anxiety," Bhattacharjee said.

The decision was changed after a review of the situation "when I asked not to call army, but they have been asked to be in readiness."

To a question, he said that two companies of CRPF, besides four companies stationed at Salugara, would arrive at Siliguri on Thursday night from Bongaingaon in Assam.

He said that the Home Secretary or the DGP need not visit Siliguri as the situation was improving. IGP (North Bengal) K L Tamta was supervising the situation there.

Sashastra Seema Bal personnel staged flag-marches in Siliguri.

Asked if the government would call the all-party meeting on the basis of representation of political parties in the assembly, the chief minister said he was thinking of involving as many political parties as possible.

About sending an invitation to the Bharatiya Janata Party, which does not have any legislator in the house, Bhattacharjee said: "When other parties will be called, why not them (BJP)?"

On whether the state government would invite GJM leader Bimal Gurung to the meeting, he said: "I have noted that the Morcha has taken a positive stand and its spirit is also good. I am thinking about it."

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