After initial dithering,the state government has agreed to provide security for top Trinamool leaders,including two Union ministers,for their visit to trouble-torn Lalgarh on Tuesday,apparently after pressure from the Centre.
While Union Home Minister P C Chidambaram had made it clear that it is the responsibility of the state government to ensure security for visiting Union ministers,the Union ministries of shipping and rural development have separately written to the state government for security for Sisir Adhikary,MoS for Rural Development,and Mukul Roy,MoS for Shipping,when they go to Lalgarh. We will go to Lalgarh,come may what. We will visit places where there have been atrocities against poor tribals. The Union government has already urged the state government to provide us security. But as far as I know,they said they cannot. Yet,we will go, Adhikary said.
Partho Chatterjee,Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly,will also accompany Adhikary and Roy. We informed the state government long back regarding our visit and asked for security. The government is yet to get back to us, Chatterjee said.
Meanwhile,state Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen today requested the Trinamool Congress team to avoid the visit due to security risks,but said security would be provided if they insisted on the tour. I urge them not to visit Lalgarh. There is risk involved and the place is not safe. However,if they insist on visiting Lalgarh,we will provide them with security, Sen said.
He,however,denied any communication from the Union government regarding the visit.
We have received no communication from the Union government and there is no question of pressure.
West Midnapore DM Narayan Swarup Nigam had earlier submitted a report to the state government saying that the situation in Lalgarh was not conducive for the visit of the Trinamool leaders.
Two days ago,the district Trinamool leadership met me regarding the issue. I told them the area is unsafe for the visit of Union ministers,with sporadic incidents recurring. Even today,I asked them to defer their visit, Nigam said.
At her July 21 rally,Mamata Banerjee had declared that her leaders would visit Lalgarh and demanded that the joint operation against the Maoists be stopped.