Modi wanted to go by road in Kolkata, but Mamata’s ‘jittery’ cops cited protests to say noJanuary 24, 2020
It wasn’t the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) but the West Bengal Police, which insisted that Narendra Modi take a helicopter to travel to Raj Bhavan from the Kolkata airport as they were “jittery and nervous” about dealing with the anti-CAA protests planned along the 18-km route, ThePrint has learnt.
Sources in the central security agencies said the Bengal Police also advised them to take the water route via the Hooghly to visit the Ramakrishna Mission in Belur.
Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee had said Modi took the air and water routes to reach his destinations and hinted that he avoided travelling by road fearing the anti-CAA protests.
A source from a central security agency told ThePrint the PMO repeatedly insisted that Modi travel to his destinations during his visit to Kolkata on 11 January by road, but the request was turned down by the state police.
West Bengal Police were “jittery and nervous” about handling the protests, and fearing an attack on the PM’s convoy, they asked the security agencies to arrange for a chopper for the PM, added the source.
A source in the Ministry of Home Affairs told ThePrint the ministry had given a go-ahead to the PMO’s proposal of taking Modi via road to his destinations in Kolkata, but the West Bengal Police insisted on the air and water routes.
ThePrint reached the PMO for a comment but there was no response until the time of publishing this report.