Centre, Bengal hold video meeting, continue to spar over 3 IPS officers

Centre, Bengal hold video meeting, continue to spar over 3 IPS officers

KOLKATA/NEW DELHI: The Centre has turned down the West Bengal government’s objections to releasing three state-cadre IPS officers for central deputation, prompting the state to dig in its heels too. An hour-long video-conference on Friday evening between senior MHA officers and Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and state director-general of police Virendra saw both sides sticking to their respective positions, raising the spectre of a protracted administrative battle of nerves in the election-bound state.
Senior Bengal government officials have already indicated that the state may move the Supreme Court if left with no other option. The Bengal government on Friday also received support from two different parties. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal condemned “the Centre’s blatant interference in Bengal’s administration”. State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, too, criticised the BJP’s attempts to interfere in a state’s affairs. During Friday’s videoconference, the MHA officials told the state’s top officers that there should be no security lapse for VIPs in the state. Movement of VIPs would increase in Bengal now and the state should take all necessary measures, they said. Sources said the home ministry is keen on the officers being relieved in order to fix responsibility of what it considers a “serious lapse” in the security cover for the president of a national party.

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