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Home Ministry Approves CISF Cover for Visva-Bharati University in Bengal

The officials said the central paramilitary force will soon constitute a 'board of officers' who will conduct a security audit of the facility at Santiniketan.


Updated:November 13, 2019, 6:40 PM IST
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Home Ministry Approves CISF Cover for Visva-Bharati University in Bengal
File Photo of Visva Bharati University, in Shantiniketan, West Bengal. (Image: Visva Bharati official website.)

New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry has accorded its approval for deployment of the CISF at the Visva-Bharati University in West Bengal, officials said on Wednesday.

They said the central paramilitary force will soon constitute a 'board of officers' who will conduct a security audit of the facility at Santiniketan.

An in-principle approval has been given by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at the Visva-Bharati University, they said.

Once formalised, it will be the first case of an educational institution or central university to have armed paramilitary personnel stationed permanently on campus.

The audit team of the force will assess placement of check points, towers and entry and exit points in the university campus before they project the exact number of troops required to render the task of guarding the facility, they said.

University officials, when contacted, said they had not received any official communication in this regard.

The varsity's vice chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty had recently written to the CISF alleging that private security personnel employed by the university owe their allegiance to "TMC local bosses".

The letter was also marked to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry, which has forwarded it to the paramilitary force.

The CISF then had detailed its procedure for deploying a contingent, including conducting required checks and surveys.

The vice-chancellor had cited incidents of confrontation between the university administration, students and staff, in his letter to request for CISF deployment on the campus.

"The private security personnel currently employed by the university owe their allegiance to the TMC local bosses and, hence, disobey Visva-Bharati's security officer with impunity.

"There have been instances of students staging protest and preventing faculty members and officials from leaving the campus when the security guards remained silent onlookers and even created enabling conditions for the protesters," the letter by Chakrabarty had said.

Visva Bharati established in 1921 by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, was declared a central university in 1951.

The CISF guards vital installations in the country, including the Delhi Metro, 61 civil airports and organisations in the aerospace and nuclear domain.

It was tasked to extend its armed security cover, exclusively from the existing government sector deployment, to private installations after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which Pakistan-based terrorists targeted five-star hotels and other locations killing over 166 people.

Currently, ten installations in the private sector are guarded by the 1.50-lakh personnel strength force that includes Infosys campuses in Bengaluru, Pune and Mysuru and the Reliance refinery in Jamnagar among others.

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