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Mamata protests presence of soldiers at West Bengal toll plazas; Army terms it routine exercise

The Chief Minister Is Camping At Her Office In The Secretariat In Kolkata And Has Refused To Go Home Till The Soldiers Leave.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Kanishk Sharma | Updated on: 02 Dec 2016, 08:22:17 AM

New Delhi:

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee got involved in another political tussle with the Centre on Thursday objecting to the presence of Indian Army soldiers at toll booths on national highways that run through the state.

The chief minister is camping at her office in the secretariat in Kolkata and has refused to go home till the soldiers leave.

“Until and unless the Army  stationed in front of Nabanno, the Bengal state govt secretariat, is withdrawn I will be staying at my Secretariat to guard our democracy,” Mamata said in a tweet.

“Very unfortunate. Army stationed in front of Nabanno, the Bengal State Secretariat in a high security zone, inspite of police objection,” she said.

Denying the allegations, the army termed it a routine exercise to gather statistical data about load carriers that could be made available to the Army in case of a contingency.

“The army conducts annual exercise throughout the country with the aim of getting statistical data about the load carriers that could be made available to the army in case of a contingency. For this purpose vehicles are spotted to get basic parameters like make load capacity etc. The vehicle is then marked so that the next checkpoint knows that the vehicle had already been checked for the parameters. There is nothing alarming about this and it is carried out as per government orders. This gives an estimate about the number of vehicles that are passing a certain area that could be tapped during operations,” an official statement released by the PRO of army’s northern command said.

The statement said that the three-day exercise will continue till Friday.

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First Published : 02 Dec 2016, 12:01:00 AM