High security in Lalgarh for Mamata's rally
Adequate security cover will be in place for Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's "apolitical" rally on Monday in Maoist-affected Lalgarh of West Bengal's West Midnapore district that will also be attended by a pro-Maoist tribal group, police said today.india Updated: Aug 08, 2010 15:56 IST
Adequate security cover will be in place for Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's "apolitical" rally on Monday in Maoist-affected Lalgarh of West Bengal's West Midnapore district that will also be attended by a pro-Maoist tribal group, police said on Sunday.
"CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personnel will assist the state police in maintaining law and order in the area," West Bengal Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Surajit Kar Purakayastha said.
"There will be strong police security at the rally. Thorough checking will be conducted at the venue and along the routes," he added, but did not disclose the number of paramilitary personnel to be deployed.
"CRPF personnel have been deployed in anti-Maoist operations in Jungle Mahal (forested areas of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts)," Purakayastha said.
"The state government sought permission from the central government to use the troopers in assisting the state police in maintaining law and order during the rally. It has given the permission," he said.
In a bid to rope in intellectuals as well as the agitating tribals, Banerjee had announced that the rally in Lalgarh would be held under the banner of an apolitical forum - Santras Birodhi Mancha (Anti-Atrocities Platform), and not the Trinamool Congress.
She had said that Democracy Day would be observed in trouble-torn Lalgarh on August 9.
Pro-Maoist tribal group Peoples' Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) has decided to participate in the rally. Social activists like Swami Agnivesh and Medha Patkar will also participate under the banner of the Forum for Peace, Justice and Democracy.
West Bengal Home Secretary Samar Ghosh said: "A team of senior police officers visited Lalgarh to supervise the security arrangements."
Inspector General (Western Tange) Zulfikar Hassan, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Training and Operations) Ajay Nanda and Deputy Inspector General of Police (Midnapore Range) Anil Kumar on Saturday visited the ground where the rally will be held and the vehicle parking area.
They later held a meeting with the senior police officers of the district.
"All kinds of security measures will be taken, but we can't divulge them before the media," Hassan told IANS.
Governor MK Narayanan had asked the state government to inform him about the security arrangements made for the railway minister during her Lalgarh visit and a detailed report has been sent to him, a senior government official said.
Anti-landmine vehicles would be used while checking the venue and the rally route, said a senior police officer on condition of anonymity.
"If the situation demands, the rally supporters may be frisked thoroughly before entering the venue," he added.
"Banerjee, being a cabinet minister, is entitled to Z+ category security. Every arrangement will be made considering her status," the officer said.
"Policemen in plain clothes will be present at the venue among the supporters and keep a close watch on them," he added.
The organisers have been asked to inform the police about the rally routes through which supporters would come to the ground and the number of people who would be present on the dais, West Midnapore Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma told IANS.
Several senior police officers of the state will be present in Lalgarh during the rally.