Railways give nod to Mamata Banerjee’s demand for retaining RPF cover
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee may have protested central forces accompanying income tax officers conducting raids in the state, but when it comes to protecting her, she doesn’t want to do without them.
The Mamata government has asked, and got a two-year extension from the Centre for six railway protection force (RPF) personnel sent to the state when she became the state’s first woman chief minister in 2011.
The state had been under the Left front’s rule for decades. Banerjee, reportedly distrustful of policemen who may be linked with the Left parties, had got the Congress-led coalition government at the Centre to let her retain some of the RPF personnel.
A railway ministry functionary told Hindustan Times that since their five-year tenure of six personnel was coming to an end, the state’s home department had sought a two-year extension for the six in September this year. Two others had been surrendered to the RPF on completion of their five-year deputation period.
“The railway board accepted the request from the state government and allowed the six personnel — who hail from the state — to continue on deputation for two more years,” he said.
A formal communication was sent last month.
In recent weeks, the chief minister has crossed swords with the central government over deployment of central forces. She first accused the centre of deploying the army in the states, and later, protested that I-T officers who were conducting searches in the state used Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel rather than the state police.