The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that they are deploying four additional companies of CRPF to maintain law and order in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, which have been hit by the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland.
The government told a three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra that 11 CRPF companies are already deployed in Darjeeling and Kalimpong and they have decided to send four more companies to ensure the safety of citizens and the maintenance of law and order there.
Attorney General KK Venugopal told the bench, which also comprised AM Khanwilkar and MM Shantanagoudar, that the Calcutta High Court has today asked the government to deploy four additional companies of CRPF there and they are sending additional paramilitary forces there.
The bench, however, made it clear that the 11 companies which are already deployed there and the four additional companies, which will be sent, shall be utilised by the West Bengal government only for the purpose of maintaining law and order in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts.
The bench also asked the authorities to ensure smooth movement of traffic and safety and security of passengers travelling in vehicles on National Highway-10, the sole road link connecting West Bengal’s Siliguri with Sikkim.
“Needless to say, the citizens of these areas must understand that sustenance of law and order and living in peace is the hallmark of progressive civilisation and therefore, they shall also see that free flow of life is not in anyway disturbed or affected,” the bench said.
The top court’s order came on a petition filed by Sikkim for a direction to ensure safety of vehicles plying on NH-10 which connects the state with the rest of the country.