Attack on Nadda's convoy: Trouble for Mamata as MHA receives Governor's report, summons Bengal DGP, Chief Secretary

Nadda's convoy was pelted with stones by alleged TMC workers at Sirakol in Diamond Harbour area in South 24 Parganas district when he was travelling there to address a rally.

Published: 11th December 2020 11:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th December 2020 12:31 PM   |  A+A-

BJP workers block Santiniketan road during their protest condemning the attack on BJP National President JP Nadda's convoy. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

The Centre on Friday received a report from Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on the prevailing law and order situation in West Bengal, a day after BJP president J P Nadda's convoy was attacked in the state, officials said.

The state government, however, has not sent any report as sought by the Union home ministry on "serious security lapses" during Nadda's two-day visit to West Bengal.

"The home ministry has received a report from the West Bengal governor on the law and order situation in the state," an official said.

West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and Director General of Police (DGP) Virendra have been called by the home ministry, an official said.

The chief secretary and DGP are expected to be asked to explain the law and order situation in West Bengal, the steps taken to prevent political violence and other crimes in the state, another official said.

The two top-most civil and police officers of the state were called by the Home Ministry within hours of receiving a report from Governor Dhankhar.

Asked about the contents of the report, the official said that it is under examination.

It is learnt that the governor gave a detailed analysis of the prevailing law and order situation in West Bengal and the state government's response to political violence and other crimes.

The report from the governor was sought after Nadda's convoy was attacked on Thursday in Diamond Harbour, the Lok Sabha constituency of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee.

This came a day after Jagdeep Dhankhar Expressed concern over the attack on Nadda's convoy.

He also accused the administration of failing to act despite his warning about possible law and order problem during the saffron party leader's meeting.

In a series of tweets, the governor said that that he had alerted the chief secretary (CS) and the director general of police (DGP) of the possibility of the collapse of law and order during Nadda's scheduled rally but their "non responsive stance signals failure of constitutional machinery" in the state.

On December 6, Dhankhar had alleged that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal is distancing itself from the rule of law and the governance in the state is "getting away" from the path of the Constitution.

"I am deeply disturbed, concerned, worried and pained that the governance in West Bengal is getting away from the path of the Constitution. It is distancing itself from rule of law," he had said.

Nadda's convoy was pelted with stones by alleged TMC workers at Sirakol in Diamond Harbour area in South 24 Parganas district when he was travelling there to address a rally.

Several BJP leaders including its Bengal minder Kailash Vijayvargiya suffered injuries, sources in the saffron party claimed.

The West Bengal Police, however, asserted that the situation was peaceful.

ALSO READ | West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee compares BJP leadership to Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini

"CS @MamataOfficial & DGP @WBPolice called on me today at 6 PM. Unfortunately neither came with any update on pending issues or regarding attack on convoy of BJP President JP Nadda.

Their continued non responsive stance signals failure of constitutional machinery in the State," Dhankhar said in a tweet.

He earlier said that he had intimated the state administration at 8.19 am and 9.05 am on Thursday that there could be law and order problem at Nadda's meeting and the chief secretary had informed him that the DGP was alerted and sensitised accordingly.

After the attack, the governor tweeted, "Concerned at alarming reports of anarchy and lawlessness @MamataOfficial indicating ruling party harmads on rampage at BJP President Convoy and political police @WBPolice in support."

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Interestingly, the TMC used to describe goons allegedly sheltered by the CPI(M) as harmads during the Left Front rule.

Accusing the police of not acting to stop the attack on Naddas convoy, Dhankhar said, "Time for SP Diamond Harbour to act (as) a public servant.'

Sharing a brief video clipping in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee purportedly made certain comment on Nadda, Dhankhar urged her "to engage in deep reflection and apologetically withdraw this video comment that outrages essence and sublimity of Bengal's rich culture".

The BJP president was on a two-day visit to the state since Wednesday to attend various programmes aimed at strengthening the party organisation ahead of the Assembly elections due in April-May next year.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had termed the attack on Nadda's convoy a "sponsored violence", and alleged that the state has "descended into an era of tyranny and anarchy" under Trinamool's rule.

Cars of several party leaders including that of BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh which were part of the convoy were damaged in the alleged attack.

Another official said that the Union home ministry is yet to receive a report from the West Bengal government on the alleged "serious security lapses" during the BJP president's visit.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla had also spoken to the West Bengal chief secretary on Thursday on the allegations of BJP's state unit chief Dilip Ghosh.

Ghosh in a letter to Shah had alleged that "during his (Nadda's) different engagements in Kolkata, it was observed that there was serious lapses on security arrangements, purportedly due to negligence and/or casual approach of the state police department".

He had also alleged that a "mob" of over 200 people with sticks and bamboos were demonstrating raising black flags in front of the BJP's state unit office in Kolkata.

Ghosh claimed that some of the protesters climbed on cars parked outside the party's office and raised slogans, and the "police did not intervene to stop them and casually allowed them to come within a close perimeter of Nadda ji's vehicle".

Sources in Raj Bhavan said the governor mentioned the state’s grim law and order situation in his report to the Centre.

"The law and order situation in Bengal has been worsening day by day despite my cautions. When the entire world was celebrating human rights day, it was violated in West Bengal yesterday," said Dhankhar on Friday.  

TMC MP and spokesperson Saugata Roy said, "This is rare that the Centre summoned the CS and the DGP. I cannot remember when it happened in Bengal last time."

BJP’s Bengal observer Kailash Vijayvargiya, who was injured in the attack on the convoy, welcomed the Centre’s move.

"The attack reflected Bengal’s lawlessness. If the Centre’s move is rare, attacking a political party’s national president is also rare,"  he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Vijayvargiya and inquired about his and other leaders’ health condition.

(With PTI and ANI inputs)


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