Lalgarh rally: TC expresses concern over 'lack' of security
A day before Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's much-publicised rally here, a party delegation on a recce of the area surrounding the venue has expressed concern over lack of adequate security arrangement.Updated: Aug 08, 2010, 22:46 IST
A day before Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's much-publicised rally here, a party delegation on a recce of the area surrounding the venue has expressed concern over lack of adequate security arrangement.
The delegation, comprising Union Shipping Minister Mukul Roy, former police officers Rachpal Singh, Sultan Singh and H A Safi, said it was not satisfied with the arrangement.
"We are not satisfied with the security arrangement. The Road Opening Party, a police term meaning police patrolling and checking, is missing on the entire 32-km route from Salboni to Lalgarh via Pirakata which passes through a Maoist-affected region," Safi told PTI.
No policeman was seen on the entire stretch and neither was any anti-landmine vehicle visible. Sanitization of the area around the rally venue was also very poor, he claimed.
Safi said they had written to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram apprising him of the ground situation at Lalgarh.
The Trinamool delegation's contention was, however, contested by the district administrative officials who said a foolproof security arrangement had been put in place.
West Midnapore district magistrate N S Nigam said, "A delegation of the Trinamool Congress met me and expressed its concern on security arrangement. I have talked to the SP and he has assured me that proper security would be made to make the rally a peaceful one."
SP Manoj Verma also said that adequate security had been made for a peaceful rally.
The West Bengal government had initially given a conditional permission for the rally, but later agreed to withdraw prohibitory orders in the heart of the Maoist belt after the Trinamool Congress rejected the conditions.
The Centre also allowed the state government to deploy the CRPF for the rally.
Banerjee had last visited West Midnapore district on January 15 for a rally at Jhargram.