Defying Ministery of Home Affairs’ (MHA) summons to top Bengal bureaucrats over Thursday’s attack on BJP national President JP Nadda’s convoy, the West Bengal government on Friday decided not to send the state’s chief secretary and police chief to New Delhi in compliance with the summons.
West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay earlier in the day, wrote to the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and stated that he has been directed to request to “dispense with the presence of the state officials” in the meeting convened on December 14, an obvious indication that he was just obeying the state government’s order.
“Kindly refer to the letter whereby the Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police, Government of West Bengal have been requested to attend a meeting on December 14, 2020, at 12.15 PM in your chamber to discuss the law and order situation in the State of West Bengal including the incidents regarding certain Z-category protectees,” Bandopadhyay wrote in his letter.
“While further reports are being obtained and compiled, in the circumstances, I am directed to request you to kindly dispense with the presence of the State officials in the meeting, considering that the State Government is already addressing this issue with utmost seriousness,” he said in his two-page letter.
The Home Ministry earlier in the day issued summons to Bandopadhyay and WB DGP Virendra and asked them to remain present on Decemeber 14 for an explanation on the situation of law and order in the state after WB Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar submitted a report on the attack on Nadda’s convoy by alleged supporters of the ruling TMC.
The top bureaucrat of the state said as requested by the Union Home Secretary on December 10, the state government had indeed made elaborate arrangements for security coverage of the protectees on Thursday.
The DIG (Police) of the range was stationed in the area to supervise the arrangements personally. At the same time, 4 Additional SPS, 8 DySPs, 14 Inspectors, 70 Sls/AS1s, 40 RAF personnel, 259 constables and 350 members of auxiliary forces were deployed on the route and at the venue at Diamond Harbour, the letter maintained.
Noting that three cases have been registered in connection with Thursday’s violence, including two for vandalism, he said, seven persons have already been arrested.