Amid growing war of words between West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the Trinamool Congress government in the state, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday granted ‘Z’ category VIP security cover for the Governor with Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) being directed to take charge of his security.
A notice issued by the MHA stated, “It has been directed to provide West Bengal Governor ‘Z’ category VIP security cover on an all India basis.”
Under the ‘Z’ category security, the Governor will have an escort car with eight to ten armed CRPF personnel as his security cover.
Till date, the West Bengal Police was in charge of the security of the Governor with four armed personnel guarding him whenever he used to travel.
According to MHA sources, the decision to provide Dhankhar ‘Z’ category security with CRPF personnel guarding him was taken after a threat assessment report prepared by the central security and intelligence agencies found that his security needs to be secured by a “professional team of personnel.”
Sources in the West Bengal government said that after the September 19 incident at Jadavpur University when the Governor had rushed to escort Union minister Babul Supriyo after he was heckled by protesting students and stopped from leaving the campus, the Raj Bhavan had written a letter to the state government stating that the current security arrangement for the Governor was not adequate.
MHA officials said that the paramilitary force will take over the charge of Dhankhar’s security soon. On Wednesday, CRPF personnel had visited Raj Bhavan and overlooked the existing security arrangement.
Meanwhile, the move triggered a war of words between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP.
“I have never seen anything like this. He (Dhankhar) is the constitutional head of the state and could have got whatever security he would have wanted. Why he asked for security from Delhi is something only he can say. Perhaps, it was not needed. I have been a legislator for about 50 years but I have not heard anything like this,” said state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee after the news of the new security cover for the Governor came.
The West Bengal BJP welcomed the move, claiming that the heckling of Union minister inside the Jadavpur University campus proved that “law and order situation has broken down in the state”.
“When Mamata Banerjee was the railway minister, she was provided security by the Railway Protection Force. She did not have any confidence in the police of the state,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.
“The entire country knows the violence and killings that are going on in Bengal. We have seen how the police remained a mute spectator when the governor and the union minister were heckled inside JU campus. Had any untoward incident happened, who would have taken the responsibility?” he added.
The development comes days after the Governor had publicly complained that he was “blacked out” at a state government event — Puja Carnival — and felt insulted.
Since the Jadavpur university incident, there have been frequent face-offs between the Governor and the Trinamool government. During a recent visit to Siliguri, Governor Dhankhar had alleged representatives of the district administration and police were conspicuous by their absence at a meeting presided over by him.
Soon after last gruesome murder of a family in Jiaganj in Murshidabad, in which the BJP initially claimed that the victim was an RSS functionary, the Governor had “aid that it was “reflective of the state of affairs and worrisome law and order situation in West Bengal”, triggering a sharp reaction from the ruling Trinamool Congress.
The TMC has accused the Governor of “making political statements every day”.
Article source: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/post-ju-fracas-centre-gives-governor-z-security-replaces-state-police-with-crpf-6075223/