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Mamata Banerjee government again refuses to send three IPS officers to New Delhi

In reply, the state government has suggested a video conference due to the pandemic. Centre’s response is still awaited.

SNS | New Delhi |

The centre-state tussle in West Bengal has been escalated day by day as in a fresh development, the Mamata Banerjee government has again refused to send the three IPS officials for central deputation.

Last evening, the Union Home Secretary has written to the Bengal government asking the state’s Chief Secretary and police chief to attend a meeting at 5.30 pm today.

However, in reply, the state government has suggested a video conference due to the pandemic. Centre’s response is still awaited.

The three Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, who were incharge JP Nadda’s security during his recent trip to West Bengal, were transferred outside the state.

The three officers – Bholanath Pandey (SP, Diamond Harbour), Praveen Tripathi (DIG, Presidency Range) and Rajeev Mishra (ADG, South Bengal) – had already come under the heat of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) after Nadda’s convoy came under violent attack.

The MHA had directed the three IPS officials to report for deputation in New Delhi. However, the West Bengal government had refused to release the officers, firing an intense State-Centre tussle.

In a latest letter to the State Government yesterday, the Centre notified about the IPS officials’ transfers and asked them to report to their new roles at an immediate effect within 24 hours.

Mamata Banerjee had called the centre’s action as a brazen attempt to control her state by proxy ahead of elections due next year.

“The government’s order of central deputation for the three serving IPS officers of West Bengal despite the state’s objection is a colourable exercise of power and blatant misuse of emergency provision of IPS Cadre Rule 1954,” she tweeted.

“This act is nothing but a deliberate attempt to encroach upon State’s jurisdiction and demoralize the serving officers in West Bengal. This move, particularly before the elections is against the basic tenets of the federal structure. It’s unconstitutional and completely unacceptable,” she wrote.

“We wouldn’t allow this brazen attempt by the centre to control the state machinery by proxy! West Bengal is not going to cow down in front of expansionist and undemocratic forces,” she added.

On his way to Diamond Harbour to attend a party event, Nadda’s motorcade was subjected to stone pelting on December 10. The BJP national president was on a two-day tour of the poll-bound state on Wednesday and Thursday last week.