Supporting the Centre’s move to withdraw central forces from Darjeeling, West Bengal BJP on Monday claimed the government had been using the force as a shield to foil the agitation against its “anti-people policies” in the region.

Blaming Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for stoking the fire in Darjeeling and tormenting the people there, the party said the central forces could not be used for “anti-people activities”.

“The Centre has the right to decide where they would deploy central forces. It can’t be used for anti-people activities and for torturing the commoners. Banerjee should not expect that the central force would handle the hostility and agitation of people that was created because of her government’s anti-people policies,” state BJP President Dilip Ghosh said.

Ghosh claimed that during his visit to Darjeeling earlier this month, the locals requested him to ask the Centre to withdraw the central forces as, they alleged, they were being used to intimidate and thrash the locals.

Taking a swipe at Banerjee for accusing the Centre of conspiring against the Bengal government, Ghosh said such duality by the Chief Minister would not be accepted.

He claimed that according to the state government report, peace had been restored in the hills.

“Where is the need to keep central force there? If it is needed, the government should confess that they have lied about the peace in the hills,” he added.