oppn parties Army Exercise: Ill-Advised Protest in Bengal

News Snippets

  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
  • The Bihar assembly passes a resolution to stick to the old NPR form, making it the first NDA state to do so
  • Arms deal for advanced helicopters, worth $3bn, signed with the US, but the trade deal remains elusive
  • Trump says he has a good equation with Pak PM Imran Khan and assures India that Pakistan is working to reduce cross border terrorism
  • Trump once again offers to mediate in the Kashmir issue
  • Trump says it is up to India to decide on the CAA
  • US President Donald Trump says PM Modi wants religious freedom for all
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
Army Exercise: Ill-Advised Protest in Bengal

By Slogger
First publised on 2016-12-02 21:40:11

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Holding an extreme view and carting the ball out of the park is what interests him most. He is a hard hitter at all times. Fasten your seatbelts and read.
The Army deployment in Bengal has created a “fantastic” situation, but not in the way Mamata Banerjee thinks. It is fantastic because ignoring facts, a democratically elected state government is accusing the democratically elected Central government of using the apolitical Army for “political vendetta” for conducting a routine Army exercise.

Ever since PM Modi announced demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, Banerjee has been pulling out all stops in a bid to discredit him and his government. She has vowed that she will make him leave politics. While that can be a genuine mission for a politician, seeing demons and conspiracies everywhere is not.

The Army has released letters it had sent to the local police stations and the police top brass in Kolkata and Howrah, seeking permission and cooperation to conduct the exercise. This is an annual exercise the Army conducts to keep tabs on heavy vehicles that can be requisitioned in case of a military emergency. It was done in Bengal last year too. Why didn’t Mamata cry foul then? What has changed (except demonetization and worsening relations with Modi) since then that Mamata sees this as “political vendetta?”

Mamata Banerjee is in an overdrive to assume the mantle of a crusader against Modi. She has been touring the northern states to hold rallies against demonetization. She has even obliquely called Nitish Kumar gaddar after he refused to be a partner in her crusade. Her finance minister has already hinted that the GST Bill might be in trouble. But what will she achieve with all this?

Her appeal is negligible outside of Bengal. People elsewhere see her more as a rabble rouser and anti-industry. Her rally in Delhi before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections flopped as Anna Hazare chose not to align with her. Now she has found an ally in Arvind Kejriwal, an equally famous, if not equally experienced, rabble rouser.

But her move to take on the Army is ill-advised. Already there were all kinds of whispers when she vehemently opposed demonetization. With her latest protest against the Army, Mamata will make more enemies than friends. For, images shown on national television have proved beyond doubt that the cops in Bengal are helping the Army carry out the exercise. How then is the Bengal government saying that it was kept in the dark?