Heads roll in Bengal Police over security breach at CM’s residence

Within a week of the security breach at the residence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, state police’s director (security) Vivek Sahay has been removed from the post and shunted to a comparatively insignificant post.

The chief minister’s security will now be under the overall supervision of two senior IPS officers, who were earlier under the supervision of one officer, Sahay.

Under the new arrangement, Additional Director General of Police Peeyush Pandey becomes the new director (security) and he will be seconded as additional director (security) by Manoj Verma, who is currently the commissioner of Barrackpore City Police. Verma had been given the additional charge of inspector general (law & order).

The choice of Pandey for the post of director (security) was overwhelmingly accepted at all the political and administration levels, considering his long stint as an officer of Special Protection Group (SPG), which provides security to the Prime Minister of the country.

“Under Pandey’s supervision the chief minister’s security will surely be fruitful since he will use his experience with SPG and set up a security cordon in similar lines around the chief minister,” said a senior officer of the state police, who did not wish to be named.

Meanwhile, Sahay has been made director general (provisioning). To recall this is the second time that Sahay has lost his chair as the director (security).

He was suspended by the Election Commission of India last year after the chief minister met with an accident during her campaign at East Midnapore’s Nandigram before the state Assembly elections last year. However, Sahay was reinstated soon after Mamata Banerjee became the chief minister for the third consecutive term.

After the recent security breach at the chief minister’s residence, the state chief secretary, H.K. Dwivedi convened an emergency meeting. In that meeting Sahay also faced the ire of the chief secretary for security and since then it was also clear that his days as the director (security) are numbered.

The chief secretary’s meeting was followed by a meeting of the state cabinet, where a majority of the ministers voiced concern and sought Sahay’s replacement. Finally, the state government officially implemented the change by issuing the circular.

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