Home Minister writes to West Bengal CM on law and order
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 19:03
New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram has written a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and is believed to have asked him to take urgent steps to stop political violence which has claimed several lives in the state.

The letter was apparently shot off after the Home Minister received a report from a three-member Central team which visited West Bengal early this month to assess the law- and-order situation there.

Sources said Chidambaram is understood to have asked Bhattacharya to tighten security and stop clashes between Left and Trinamool Congress supporters in different parts of the state.

The Central team, headed by Additional Secretary (Naxal Management) D R S Choudhary, was sent following demands by TC chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee as her party has been claiming that there has been "complete breakdown of law and order".

The team held meetings with senior officers of the state administration and visited a few violence-hit places during their three-day tour.

Both Houses of Parliament had also witnessed noisy scenes over the issue of police violence in West Bengal.

WB takes steps to strengthen security

Meanwhile, the West Bengal government has decided to set up a Directorate of Security (DoS) and strengthen 21 police stations in three Maoist-hit districts, in the face of mounting security threats.

"The decision has been okayed by a Cabinet meeting today," Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta told reporters.

The DoS would handle security for VVIPs, protection of vital installations and take preventive measures against the threats from terrorists and militants, he said.

Dasgupta, however, said that details of the areas of its responsibility would be chalked out soon by the Home department.

The DoS would be headed by an officer in the rank of DIG under whom two AIGs would work. Altogether 487 posts would be created for the DoS, he said.

To counter the Maoists in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, 21 police stations would be strengthened with the recruitment of more policemen from inspectors to constables, besides developing infrastructure.

Of the 21 police stations, seven are in West Midnapore, five in Bankura and nine in Purulia, Dasgupta said.

West Midnapore violence

Separately, two persons, including a CPI(M) activist, were shot dead today by unknown men in West Midnapore district during the Maoists-backed PCPA's 48-hour bandh.

Police suspect that Maoists have killed CPI(M) activist Habun Patro in Lalgarh's Bamal village.

Sadan Mahto, a CPI(M) activist, who had recently changed his loyalties to the PCPA, was also shot dead by unknown men in Salboni area, police said.

The PCPA has called for a 48-hour bandh beginning this morning in three blocks of the district, Lalgarh, Salboni and Goaltor, demanding release of 11 of their arrested supporters.


First Published: Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 19:03

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