61 BJP lawmakers in West Bengal get ‘X’-category security cover of CISF after post-poll violence
The Centre on Monday accorded X-category security cover of Central industrial Security Force (CISF) to 61 lawmakers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal. The decision has been taken in the wake of alleged violence against party leaders and workers in the state, officials said.
In X-category security cover, three to five armed personnel accompany the protecteee round the clock depending on the threat perception.
The Union home ministry approved the security cover after taking into cognisance a report prepared by central security agencies and the inputs of a high-level team of officers that was sent to the state by the ministry in the wake of post-poll violence against the workers of the BJP, news agency PTI reported.
Several BJP leaders were already put under VIP security protection during campaigning for the assembly elections. After the fresh order, all 77 MLAs of the BJP have now been brought under central security cover.
Suvendu Adhikari, who has been chosen as the leader of opposition in West Bengal Assembly, is already under Z-category protection by CRPF while four more BJP leaders have Y-category security cover.
The BJP has emerged as the main opposition party in the state, winning 77 seats in the 294-member house in the recently concluded polls where the Trinamool Congress (TMC) led by chief minister Mamata Banerjee formed the government.
Violence has been reported in several parts of West Bengal after the results of the assembly elections were declared on May 2. The BJP alleged that nine of its party workers were killed in the post-poll violence. However, the TMC has denied the allegations.
On May 7, a four-member team deputed by the Union home ministry visited the Diamond Harbour area of West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district to assess the ground situation.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal government on Monday told a Calcutta high court bench that there has been no post-poll political violence in the state since May 9 and assured that all steps will be taken to ensure peace in future.
The five-judge bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a lawyer and directed that all steps be taken in this regard by May 17 and posted the matter for hearing on May 18.