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Police to host football tournaments to improve ties in

first_imgDarjeeling districtKolkata, Dec 15 (PTI) The West Bengal police will be organizing fortnight-long football tournaments in Darjeeling district to rebuild police-public ties which had been affected during the 104-day long shutdown in the hills.It will begin from the local police station level this week.”We want to have good relationship with the locals. There should be trust and mutual respect. We hope that this football tournament helps us to rebuild our relationship,” a senior police official said.”We are organizing football tournament in the entire Darjeeling district. This tournament will help us to improve our relationship with the masses,” Inspector General of Police, Darjeeling range, Manoj Verma told PTI.The police is also ensuring that only local players of these areas participate in the tournament so that “teams do not get unfair advantage by hiring players from outside Darjeeling”.The first prize at the local, sub-divisional and the district levels will be Rs 10,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 1,50,000 respectively.The tournament will begin from Tukvar-Goke, Badamtam-Lebong, Pandam-Phubtshering and Pulbazar-Bijanbari, areas in Darjeeling which still have a support base of GJM supremo Bimal Gurung.”We are receiving a huge response. Nearly 40 teams are participating from these four areas. There are several other teams in the entire district,” said a police official.Gurung is on the run since August last, after cases under UAPA were lodged against him in connection with the bomb blasts in the hills.Gurungs home at Patlebas falls under Tukvar area.In the football tournament spread over the four areas, the winning team will get a cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakh while the runner-up will get Rs 1 lakh.advertisementThe idea of organizing the sports event was taken from the past experience of the police in organizing similar tournaments in Junglemahal area – comprising forested areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts – once synonymous with Maoist violence. PTI PNT MMlast_img read more