Escalating the tensions between Centre and the West Bengal government, state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday declared that she would confer the highest state award on the five IPS officers if the Centre stripped them of their medals. “I will give these five senior officials the highest state honour ‘Bangabibhusan’ if the Centre takes away their medals. Also, I will send a strongly-worded letter, if they send me one,” said Banerjee while attending the Bengal Global Business Summit in Kolkata.
Her decision comes a day after the Home Ministry asked the West Bengal Chief Secretary to take action against five IPS officers, who shared the stage with Banerjee during her sit-in protest against the CBI in connection with the Saradha case.
The Trinamool Congress chief strongly refuted Centre’s charge that the officials had participated in the dharna on February 3, insisting that the officers were present at the protest venue to oversee security, PTI reported.
Banerjee had protested against the CBI’s action calling it an attempt by Modi government to “stifle the spirit of the Constitution and federalism”.
Writing to the Bengal Chief Secretary, Malay Kumar De, the Home Ministry sought action against DGP Virendra Kumar, who was earlier in charge of Banerjee’s security, Vineet Goyal, heading security, Anuj Sharma, additional DGP (law and order), Gyanwant Singh, Commissioner Bidhannagar and Supratim Sarkar, Additional Commissioner of Police, Kolkata.
Official sources had told The Indian Express that the Centre is also contemplating issuing an advisory to all states to ensure that officers of uniformed forces adhere to service conduct rules and maintain decorum.