W Bengal orders watchtowers, CCTV cameras along Bengal-Jharkhand border

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has asked the police to erect watchtowers and install CCTV cameras along 110 km of the state’s border with Jharkhand to prevent the alleged entry of miscreants. Though the two states share a 380-km border, she has asked that the vigil be maintained along the areas once dominated by Maoists.

During an administrative review meeting in Purulia district, Ms Banerjee said the police and Western Region development board will release the necessary funds. “The problem is acute in the border area and miscreants are entering the state, committing crime and going back. The goons of that state are hired to kill a person. After the crime, a section of the people make a song and dance over it. I think that the border should be sealed. But, initially CCTVs should be installed in the area and watchtowers erected,” she said.

Over the past few months, she and her Trinamool Congress leaders have alleged that Maoists from BJP-ruled Jharkhand have started movement to Bengal, and alleged that the saffron camp is instigating the rebels. “The saffron brigade is sending Maoists from Jharkhand to create turmoil in the area and trigger a blood bath again,” Banerjee alleged from the dais of a government programme in neighbouring Jhargram district. Hitting back, BJP Bengal President Dilip Ghosh said, “The state government has not cooperated with the Centre by giving land for erecting a fence along several hundred kilometres of the Indo-Bangladesh border. If she is so concerned with security, let her fulfil this requirement first. How can she restrict movement between two states, and why is she so scared of Jharkhand?”

The Maoists had a nearly free run in vast swathes of the four districts of West Midnapore, Bankura, Jhargram and Purulia between 2009 and 2011, during which about 500 people lost their lives in clashes.