Siliguri, Aug. 27: Bengal urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya today accused the Centre of adopting double standards in hill matters.
“We have come to know that Prime Minister, while addressing a gathering of DGPs in New Delhi yesterday, expressed concern over the ongoing agitation in the hills and sought action against law breakers,” said the minister here this afternoon.
“It seems the Centre has realised that the hill issue cannot be resolved merely by negotiating with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said: “The situation in Darjeeling hill area also needs a careful watch. The writ of the state should be firmly established in all these areas. The state police and the central paramilitary forces should take firm action against those who take the law into their own hands.”
Bhattacharya also alleged that there was dichotomy between what the Centre preached and what it practised.
“Ever since the Morcha launched the agitation in the hills, we have been insisting on stringent action and sought paramilitary forces from the Centre. The paramilitary forces were sent to guard NH31A and to maintain law and order in the hills. The situation was improving but suddenly, the Centre withdrew the forces,” the minister said.
“If the Centre, that also the Prime Minister, feels strong action is to be taken against those violating law, why did the home ministry withdraw the CRPF then?”
Bhattacharya also alleged that the Congress had tried to forge a tie-up with the Morcha before Parliament polls last year. “However, the BJP succeeded and the Congress had to accept the defeat,” he said.
The minister also spoke on the escape of Morcha leader Nickole Tamang from Pintail Village. “We are not ruling out the possibility of Nickole Tamang getting help for the escape. Although his escape is a setback to the investigation, those involved in the murder of Madan Tamang will not be spared.”