Cong demands probe into security lapses over CJI’s visit to Kamakhya temple

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Oct 21: Leader of Opposition in Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia on Sunday blamed Assam government’s “sycophancy” for the “unfortunate” incident during Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi’s visit to the Kamakhya temple on October 17.

The Chief Justice of India (CJI) and his wife had visited the temple on October 17 when devotees, including VVIPs such as BJP national president Amit Shah, were also there to offer prayers.

The CJI had expressed his displeasure to Kamrup (Metro) district deputy commissioner Virender Mittal over the “crowd management” at the temple.

Following this, the BJP-led Assam government on Saturday suspended Guwahati (West) deputy commissioner of police Bhanwar Lal Meena for not ensuring adequate security to the Supreme Court judge.

In a statement here, Saikia said the incident had exposed the “desperate attempt” by the ruling BJP regime to “please” their “political masters”.

It has “once again exposed the desperate attempt by the state government to please political personalities belonging to the ruling dispensation by using government machinery,” Saikia said.

In terms of protocol, the CJI has precedence over any political personality, he said, adding that the security and protocol lapse highlighted the breakdown of Assam’s administrative machinery.

He demanded that an enquiry by a sitting or retired high court judge be conducted to “fix responsibility for the arbitrary way of assigning protocol duties”. He also demanded that the suspended officer be reinstated immediately.

These “misplaced priorities” have resulted in a police officer being made the scapegoat, Saikia further said.

Taking a cue from the state government, the officers were busy “bending over backwards to please their political masters at the Centre” and did not depute a commissioner-level officer to look after the CJI’s visit as per norms, Saikia claimed.

“The CJI was kept waiting outside the temple while political personalities were being entertained inside,” he added. (With PTI input)

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