Security alert for Bengal leaders after Chhattisgarh attack

Kolkata, May 28 (IANS) After the Maoist attack on Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an alert to West Bengal on the security of key political leaders, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

In the alert, the state government has been advised to step up the security of former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Trinamool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy, apart from Mamata Banerjee’s.

State home secretary Basudeb Banerjee Tuesday said the leaders have been asked to be cautious while visiting Maoist-affected areas of the state. He also said that West Bengal was one of the several states to which such alerts have been issued.

Basudeb Banerjee also said that the state government has appointed Virendra, director security (West Bengal), as the nodal officer to review of security of political leaders and to coordinate between agencies in case of any major political programmes in Junglemahal, the forested areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, where Maoists have a stronghold.

With the rural polls in 17 districts of the state, including the three affected by Left Wing extremism scheduled in July, prominent political are slated to campaign around the state for the elections.

Maoists ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders May 25 in a heavily forested area in Chhattisgarh, killing 28 people. Among those killed were state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, party leader Mahendra Karma and former legislator Uday Mudliyar.

The injured include former union minister V.C. Shukla.

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