Aday after a major breach in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s security in North Dinajpur, police on Friday tightened vigil at the three-point crossing that connects the main entrance of Uttarkanya with Asian Highway-II.
Common, including students, who came from some remotest villages across north Bengal to submit testimonials at the CM’s office (CMO) for scholarship at Uttarkanya early on Friday, bore the brunt initially. However, their concerns were addressed after senior administrative officials intervened.
Notably, two women broke the security cordon and climbed on the stage as the CM addressed a public rally at Hemtabad in North Dinajpur on Thursday. Apart from local residents who live behind Uttarkanya, several workers associated with different small industrial units, including a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder manufacturing unit, located near the government secretariat, were grilled and frisked before they were allowed to enter the road that goes by Uttarkanya.
Notably, authorities had wanted to change the entrance of the LPG cylinder manufacturing unit during the construction of Uttarkanya. Though a plot of land was earmarked for the unit on the opposite side near a mosque and the office of the West Bengal Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation, the plan failed to kick off due to “sensitive issues” related to land, sources said.
Interestingly, a DIB (District Intelligence Branch) staff was initially debarred from entering the main road for Uttarkanya on his twowheeler as he wore a mouth guard and helmet. Police, however, gave him a goahead after he removed his helmet.
A team plainclothes cameramen, under the guidance of the SSU (special security unit) for the CM, was deployed at several important and vulnerable points on the CM’s way to Bagdogra from Uttarkanya.
“Those cameramen will take photographs of people assembled on either sides of the road. The objective is to identify persons, if any untoward incident occurs during the CM’s journey,” a senior police officer said. As everyone was on full alert at Uttarkanya, a group of local leaders asked a fodder manufacturing unit at the Dabgram Industrial Estate to stop operations until the CM leaves the branch secretariat.
The idea was to stop the smoke that emanated from its chimney so that “Didi (CM) does not notice such pollution from Kanyashree,” a government guest house at Uttarkanya. Several daily workers associated with the fodder unit were upset having rendered jobless today.
It may be noted that a group of students, some belonging to the minority community, had reached Uttarkanya early in the morning today from remote villages as far as Malda district and Dalkhola in North Dinajpur. Senior police officers asked their juniors posted in front of Uttarkanya not to allow them until the CM leaves.
Another policeman was asked to tell the group to get back on Monday. Finally, a senior administration official, who came to know of the matter from his source, allowed eight students to submit their documents for scholarship. Significantly, the local political leadership, allegedly due to inner conflict among them, failed to muster people to greet Miss Banerjee as she left Uttarkanya.
Finally, hundreds of students from Surya Sen Mahavidyalaya under the Trinamool Congress Chatra Parishad were brought there to “salute the CM.” Though the college students and their leaders decided to watch Miss Banerjee directly from the eastern side of the road, the police asked them to line up on the western side of Asian Highway- II so that the CM can notice them.