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Spare the greens, says JJ

New Delhi, Jan. 12: The army is against holding the Calcutta Book Fair on the greens of the Maidan.

The chief of army staff, General Joginder Jaswant Singh, told The Telegraph: “We feel that it is in the interest of Calcuttans that the Maidan is spared.”

The army chief (in picture) is familiar with the issue having served extensively in the area of responsibility of the Eastern Command that is headquartered in Fort William.

He was speaking after the Calcutta High Court ruling.

He said making an exception for the Publishers and Booksellers Guild would lead to more requests. “We have been trying to tell everyone that the Maidan will become a desert if we allow rallies and fairs there. We are saying that if we make one exception, other (event organisers) will also want it (the Maidan). We feel it is in the interest of the city that such events are not held on the Maidan.”

Technically, army headquarters is unlikely to turn down a request from the political leadership. But its opposition to the misuse of the Maidan has been unequivocally voiced.

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