Blanket Central security for BJP Bengal MLAs based on ‘general’ threat

In an unprecedented move, the Centre has accorded personal security to all 77 BJP MLAs in West Bengal following an assessment of threat to the party’s elected representatives. While 16 of these MLAs had various levels of central security even before the Assembly polls, 61 were accorded X-category security of CISF on Monday.

“We have received the order from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Security will be deployed according to procedure in the next few days,” a CISF officer said.

Sources said BJP MLAs will enjoy their security in only West Bengal, not all over India. X-category security entails one gunman providing security to the protectee round the clock and may involve three or four security personnel on rotation.

Sources said security was provided based on threat assessment by Central intelligence agencies. A similar assessment of threat to life of BJP MLAs, sources said, was also made by the four-member MHA fact-finding team that was sent to West Bengal recently to probe post-poll violence.

MHA officials, however, denied that the fact-finding team made any recommendations to provide security cover to MLAs. Stating that recommending security cover was not on the agenda of the team, an MHA official said, “They were there to assess the law and order situation. The security cover has been accorded to BJP MLAs after following all necessary procedures. It has been done based on assessment of intelligence agencies.”

Sources said the assessment has…

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