West Bengal govt says a number of autos tousled Nadda’s safety association

Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service
Kolkata, December 11

Denying the charge of failure to provide adequate security to BJP chief JP Nadda, West Bengal government on Friday told Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla that presence of multiple vehicles with Nadda’s convoy “made the situation unwieldy”.

“Typically, security authorities are to handle a protectee convoy of a few vehicles only and not with/in the presence of so many other vehicles which got tagged to the convoy,” stated a letter written to Bhalla by West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay.

In the letter, the chief secretary claimed that adequate security was arranged for the Z-category protectees on Thursday. The state police provided a bullet proof car and a pilot to JP Nadda, which was in addition to the escort (state vehicle provided to CRPF personnel) and PSOs from CRPF that Nadda was entitled to as a Z-category protectee.

The DIG (Police) of the range was stationed in the area to personally supervise the police arrangements.

Four additional superintendents of police (ASPs), eight DySPs, 14 inspectors, 70 SIs/ASIs, 40 RAF personnel, 259 constables and 350 members of auxiliary forces were deployed on the route and at the venue at Diamond Harbour, Bandopadhyay wrote.

The chief secretary added that while the central protectees had their own arrangement, state government provided them with additional security over and above the central arrangement.

Nadda’s convoy was attacked by TMC supporters on Thursday when he was heading toward Diamond Harbour, Lok Sabha constituency of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.

While Nadda himself escaped unhurt, a number of other members of his entourage, including BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, sustained injuries in the assault.

Following the incident, the Home Ministry swung into action and Chief Secretary Bandopadhyay and DGP Virendra were asked to meet Bhalla for a discussion on the law and order situation including the attack on Nadda’s convoy.

The state government officials were asked to meet Bhalla at his chamber in North Block at 12-15 in the afternoon on December 14.

Bandopadhyay, in his letter to Bhalla on Friday, wrote that three cases, including two for vandalism, had been registered already in connection with Thursday’s incident. Seven persons had been arrested in these cases.

Stating that West Bengal government was addressing the attack issue “with utmost seriousness” and obtaining and compiling further reports, the chief secretary wrote to Bhalla to dispense with their (his own and the DGP’s) presence in the proposed meeting on Monday.

Earlier, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar also told press persons here today that he too had sent a report to Delhi today on the law and order situation in the state.

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