Amit Shah Kolkata rally: BJP seeks permission from police to fly drone for surveillance

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Kolkata | Published: August 8, 2018 5:59:28 PM

The state unit of the BJP has appealed to the Kolkata Police to grant permission to fly a drone for mass surveillance during party president Amit Shah's rally in the city on August 11.

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The state unit of the BJP has appealed to the Kolkata Police to grant permission to fly a drone for mass surveillance during party president Amit Shah’s rally in the city on August 11. The saffron party, which has become wary after a tent collapsed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Midnapore rally in June, also appealed to the police to allow the use of walkie-talkies during Saturday’s rally. Over 90 people were injured on June 16 after a section of a tent caved in during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at a public rally in West Bengal’s Midnapore.

“We have applied for permission from the Kolkata Police for using one drone during Amit Shahji’s rally on Saturday. Drones will help us in keeping an eye on the proceedings in and around the rally area. This is merely for security reasons,” West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh told PTI today. The party is trying to take precautionary measures to avoid another untoward event, he said. “We have also sought permission for walkie-talkies for the Saturday rally as it would help in keeping a tab on the ground situation,” Ghosh added.

A senior officer of Kolkata Police, however, said nothing has been decided on the issue. “We are yet to make a decision on the request made by the BJP. A detailed report, stating the reasons, is required before granting permission for drone use,” the officer said. The Kolkata Police will provide foolproof security arrangements during Saturday’s rally, keeping in mind Shah’s stature as a political leader, he stated.

There will be two daises at the rally venue on Mayo road, in the heart of the city, the officer said, taking a cue from the rally arrangement plans submitted by the BJP to the Kolkata Police. “One will be for Shah and senior leaders of the party while the second one will be for other functionaries. We are taking all forms of security measures for it,” he stressed.

The BJP had earlier alleged that the administration denied it permission to hold a rally at Rani Rashmoni Avenue in central Kolkata. Amid speculations, Shah, too, had said he does not need the Bengal government’s permission to come to Kolkata and dared the state administration to arrest him.

Refuting the allegation, Kolkata Police clarified that it did not receive any application for any rally at Rani Rashmoni Avenue. “Some unwarranted speculation on social media about denial of permission to a political party on 11 August has come to our notice. It is to clarify that on request permission for meeting has already been granted,” it had said in a tweet.

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