Kolkata, Dec 2: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that army deployed at toll booths was military coup, and such an incident has never before taken place. Banerjee said, “This is a military coup. My officials checked with Odisha, Bihar, Kerala, Chattisgarh no where such a thing happened. This happened only in Bengal.”

Banerjee on Thursday attacked the Centre and refused to leave state secretariat Nabanna protesting presence of Army men at toll plazas. Banerjee alleged that the Centre has deployed Army personnel at two toll plazas on the national highway without informing the state government. She also accused the Narendra Modi government of creating a situation “worse than Emergency”.

Meanwhile, Army Eastern Command clarified that Army deployment was “a routine exercise with full knowledge and in coordination with the West Bengal Police”. However, Mamata alleged that Army was deployed at two toll plazas at Palsit and Dankuni on NH 2. (ALSO READ: Mamata Banerjee refuses to leave office, protests presence of Army at toll plaza)

Banerjee claimed people panic due to the deployment of Army at toll booths. A defence spokesperson said the Army’s presence was normal. It was there to conduct bi-annual exercise throughout the country. Army thus gathers  statistical data about the load carriers that could be made available to the force in case of a contingency.