Defence Minister A K Antony today said the West Bengal government has withdrawn its request for deploying army troops to control riots in Darjeeling.

“The West Bengal government has already withdrawn its request for army troops and the police and paramilitary personnel would look after the situation there,” he told a press conference here.

He was reacting to queries about the deployment of Army in the state.

Darjeeling district administration had sought army deployment when riots broke out after police firing in Jalpaiguri in which a teenager and a young woman supporter of Gorkhaland died.

However, Defence Ministry sources said the West Bengal government withdrew its request after the Army showed reluctance to be sent there.

“The state government request was forwarded to us by the Home Ministry but the Army was reluctant to be deployed there,” they added.

In the recent past, the Defence Minister has maintained that the state governments should not call Army unless they have exhausted their resources in controlling such situations.

The Army had also conveyed to the Defence Ministry that it should not be called in by state governments to tackle every civilian emergency.