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Featured Image: A view of the conference held at Fort William on Thursday.  

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 11 May: LEAVING behind the bitterness of last year’s Army deployment at toll plazas, senior bureaucrats of the Bengal government today joined the annual Civil Military Liaison Conference at Fort William in the city.

Civil Military Liaison Conference is held at the senior level of the Army authorities in the state and the state government to iron out issues that could not been resolved at lower levels or are taking unusually long time.

The conference today was co-chaired by state chief secretary Basudeb Bandopadhyay, and the General Officer Commanding of the Army’s Bengal Area Lieutenant General Giri Raj Singh.

Several senior bureaucrats of the state and senior Army officers were present at the conference held a little after five months since Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had raised a red flag over Army deployment at the toll plazas all over Bengal on 1 December 2016.

The Army as well as the defence minister had however, clarified that it was a routine impressment exercise aimed at collecting details of goods vehicles that could be requisitioned in the event of a crisis such as war.

Leaving behind that bitterness, Lt Gen Singh thanked the state government for the support being provided to the defence forces. In turn, Basudeb Bandopadhyay showered praises on the Armed forces for prompt response to the call from state government during emergency situations.

Sources said that neither party raised the dispute of last December and rather the discussions centred on issues relating to land that the Armed forces were having with the state government. Issues related to the welfare of ex-servicemen were also discussed.