Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Friday held a meeting with state Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and Director General of Police Virendra via video conferencing.
This came a week after a row between the Centre and the state government following an attack on BJP president JP Nadda’s convoy near Kolkata. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) summoned on central deputation three IPS officers — Inspector General (South Bengal Range) Rajeev Mishra, Deputy Inspector General (Presidency Range) Praveen Tripathi and Superintendent of Police (Diamond Harbour) Bholanath Pandey — following the incident on December 10. They were held responsible for the lapses in Nadda’s security.
But the state government refused to release them.
According to sources in the state administration, Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay reiterated the state government’s stand on the matter. Earlier in the day, the Mamata Banerjee government moved the Supreme Court on Friday against the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) summons to the officers.
The Centre again summoned the three IPS officers, who might present themselves via video-conference.
The MHA has already issued them transfer letters, asking them to join their Central postings at the earliest.
Bandyopadhyay and Virendra had also been summoned to Delhi on December 14 after Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar submitted a report to the government on the law-and-order situation in the state. But they expressed their inability to travel to the national capital.
On Friday, the meeting started an hour after the scheduled time. “The meeting was held in a cordial situation. The Centre said West Bengal should increase its coordination with the Centre on the security of VVIPs coming from Delhi and other states.
The West Bengal government agreed to do so and assured the security lapses will be avoided in the future,” said a government official.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has alleged the attack on Nadda’s convoy was staged as BJP leaders always travel with their own security.