The Union ministry of home affairs on Saturday called three Indian Police Service (IPS) officers responsible for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda’s security back on central deputation from West Bengal, officials said. The move comes in the backdrop of a BJP convoy, including Nadda’s vehicle, being attacked in the South 24 Parganas district of the eastern state.
Superintendent of police of Diamond Harbour, Bholanath Pandey, additional director general of police of South Bengal, Rajeev Mishra, and deputy inspector general of police, Presidency Range, Praveen Tripathi, were deputed for the BJP chief’s security in the state when his convoy was attacked at Shirakol in Diamond Harbour. It is the Lok Sabha constituency of Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Nadda was visiting Diamond Harbour as part of his two-day trip to the state ahead of the assembly elections scheduled to be held next year. The BJP alleged that some of the party’s frontline leaders, as well as workers, sustained injuries after being assaulted by the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress. Stones raining on the convoy and shattering windshields could be seen in the footage shown by television channels.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, its national vice-president Mukul Roy and national secretary Anupam Hazra were also hit by stones and shards of glass from shattered windows and windshields of their cars, according to the party.
On Friday afternoon, the Union home ministry had also summoned the state’s chief secretary and police chief to New Delhi on Monday over the law-and-order situation in the state. However, the ministry was informed about the top bureaucrats’ refusal to appear before it through a letter.
Chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay said he was directed to request to “dispense with the presence of the state officials” in the meeting in Delhi. In his two-page letter Bandopadhyay wrote, “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.”
As the row over the attack and the law-and-order situation in Bengal intensifies, Union home minister Amit Shah is planning a trip to the poll-bound state next week.