Poll campaign: Expected VVIP visits put security wing in a fix

With most of the VVIPs including Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and P Chidambaram expected to visit the state to campaign for the Assembly elections, the special security wing of the state is facing a major security concern.

Significantly, the police were briefed by Special Director, Intelligence Bureau, Y Azad on Friday. Azad and two other officers gave an outline about security threats to the VVIPs. They said that the main threat was from Maoists, but terror groups could not be ignored either. Director general of police, all the inspector generals and the director, security, along with other senior officials were present at the meeting. However, the issue of providing the VVIPs and VIPs security during the poll campaign remained unresolved.

"One question we had raised during the meeting remained unanswered. We will make all necessary arrangements required for providing security to the VVIPs. But how can we provide a security cover for them when they mix with people or hold open meetings during the election campaign in sensitive areas, including the LWE districts. This issue is yet to be resolved and it is our prime concern," said A K Maliwal, Director, Security.

"However, according to guidelines, we have alerted the police officers in the sensitive districts. We have stepped up the security measures for Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and the Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee as both of them are covered under Z+ security," added Maliwal. Bullet-proof cars are provided to only those who are covered under Z-plus security.

The VVIPs movement in the state is expected to increase substantially after April 12 with Assembly elections starting from April 18.

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