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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

‘Excess of Security’ before PM, Sonia’s Visit Irks Citizens


MALDA, 15 MARCH: Unprecedented security arrangements have been made prior to the visit of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chairperson of National Advisory Council Sonia Gandhi to the district tomorrow morning. After visiting the Kotowali residence of legendary Congress leader late Ghani Khan Choudhury, they would participate in the foundation stone laying ceremony of Ghani Khan Choudhury Institute of Engineering and Technology (GKCIET) at Narayanpur area of Old Malda block. However, such tough security arrangement has caused strong discontent among the citizens of the locality.

Kotowali under English Bazaar police station and Narayanpur under Malda police station have been wrapped with multi-layered security as supervised by the Special Protection Group (SPG). Traffic on Malda- Kotowali state highway would remain suspended from 8 am to 12 noon tomorrow. In addition the villagers residing beside the road which the convoy of the PM and NAC Chairperson would pass along said that they were asked not to come out of their houses between 8 am and 12 noon. They were visibly irked by ‘such excess of security.’

A number of mango trees have been cut down and high tension electric wires have been removed also as a part of tomorrow’s security arrangement. More than a thousand police personnel would be deployed at Kotowali and Narayanpur tomorrow. Bomb-squad has also arrived from Siliguri along with sniffer-dogs.

The helicopter of the PM and Sonia Gandhi would reach Kotowali via Purnia in Bihar. Governor MK Narayanan would reach Malda by train tomorrow morning and he would receive the PM and Mrs Gandhi.

Tourism minister Krishnendu Choudhury, as the representative of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, would welcome them also. Though it was learnt from sources that eight minutes were sanctioned for Miss Banerjee’s speech from the PMO, she would not turn up.

PMand Mrs Gandhi would go to Kotowali by bullet-proof cars with a convoy of cars. Today the SPG organized a dummy run of the convoy.  They would spend 40 minutes there and offer flowers to late Ghani’s mazaar which has been covered with pandal already and even the reporters and lens men have been barred to record the moment. Even the Kotowali family members are also not satisfied with such ‘excessive inhibitions’ imposed by the SPG.

Congress MLA Isha Khan Choudhury said, “We wanted that the moment of offering flower to Ghani Khan’s mazaar be captured by the photographers. But we are helpless as the SPG has prohibited it.”

The PM and Sonia Gandhi would go to Narayanpur by helicopter and attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of GKCIET at around 12 noon. They would be accompanied by the Governor Mr Narayanan, three Union ministers of state AH Khan Choudhury, Deepa Das Munshi and Adhir Chowdhury, state Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharya and GKCIET chairman AN Khan Choudhury.

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