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Bengal won't release 3 IPS officers for central duty, Union Home Secy told

Bengal wont release 3 IPS officers for central duty, Union Home Secy told

Kolkata: The state government on Friday has once again cleared its stand of not relieving three IPS officers of the Bengal cadre to join central deputation during the high-level video conference between Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and state Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay.

Apart from Bandyopadhyay, Director General of Police Virendra was also present in the meeting that continued for almost an hour in a congenial atmosphere.

There was a discussion on the scope for enhancement of cooperation between the Central and state agencies that are in-charge of protection of VVIPs, sources said.

Sticking to its previous stand of not releasing the three IPS officers who were in-charge of BJP national president JP Nadda's convoy that was attacked on December 9, the state government also brushed aside the claims of "inadequate" security arrangement during the senior BJP leader's visit to the state and reaffirmed that all arrangements were made as per the set protocols. It has also been stated that like all other incidents of law and order cases, investigation in connection with the convoy attack has also been initiated.

The meeting gained significance as it took place on a day when senior BJP leader and Union Home minister Amit Shah is on a three-day tour to the state. Sources said all steps have been taken to ensure a proper security arrangement with better coordination between the state and Central agencies.

The Centre wrote to the state asking the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police to visit Delhi for a meeting with Bhalla over the state's law and order situation. Later, the meeting happened over a video conference.

In another letter, they had directed the state to relieve three officers — ADG South Bengal Rajeev Mishra, DIG Presidency Range Praveen Tripathi and Superintendent of Police of Diamond Harbour Bholanath Pandey – for central deputation and later even deputed them with new assignments as IG of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), DIG Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and SP of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) respectively.

Reacting on the same, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also criticised the move terming it as a "blatant misuse of emergency provision of IPS Cadre Rule 1954" encroaching "upon state's jurisdiction".

Sources indicated that once again on Friday, the Centre was informed during the video conference that "a bulletproof car and a pilot" was provided to Nadda "in addition to the escort (vehicle by state and personnel by CRPF) and PSOs (CRPF) as he is entitled as a Z-category protectee."

At the same time, the concerned DIG (Police) personally supervised the security arrangement while "four additional Superintendents of Police, eight Deputy Superintendents of Police, 14 Inspectors, 70 Sub Inspectors and Additional Sub-Inspectors, 40 RAF personnel, 259 constables and 350 members of auxiliary forces were deployed on the route and at the venue at Diamond Harbour".

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