Security beefed up around Mamata's Kalighat residence after para teachers' protest

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Kolkata, Feb 17 (PTI) Security around West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Kalighat residence here was beefed up on Wednesday, a day after a section of para teachers staged a protest in the waters of Tolly Nullah only 100 metres from the TMC supremo's house to press for their demand for a salary hike, a senior police officer said.

Seven police pickets were set up on the other bank of the canal alongside the Alipore Correctional Home, he said.

Two Kolkata Police Disaster Management boats have also been deployed to patrol the canal near Banerjee's residence.

Additional police personnel have been deployed outside Banerjee's residence in Kalighat and guard rails have also been placed on the roads in the area, the officer said.

The number of policemen regularly posted in the vicinity of the chief minister's house has also been increased, he said.

'There was a security lapse on Tuesday. The incident should not have happened. We have stepped up security around the CM's house. We cannot take any chance,' the officer told PTI.

'Only locals will be allowed to walk through roads around the CM's residence. Vehicles will be permitted to ply the road beside the Alipore Correctional Home only after thorough scrutiny,' he said.

Sources in the Kolkata Police said that security arrangements in the area were reviewed following the incident.

Five para teachers had on Tuesday sneaked past lax security arrangements and jumped into the waters of Tolly Nullah 100 metres near Banerjee's residence to press for their demand for a salary hike.

Seven persons were arrested but later released.

Contractual teachers have been holding a sit-in in the metropolis for more than 70 days, demanding immediate wage revision.

Banerjee had recently announced a three per cent annual pay hike for para teachers in the state budget, but they asserted the raise is not enough.

The Education Department had increased the salary of para teachers at the primary level from Rs 5,954 to Rs 10,000 a month, and for those at the higher secondary level from Rs 8,500 to Rs 13,000.

With the assembly elections round the corner, it has snowballed into a major political issue with the opposition BJP and Left Front accusing the ruling Trinamool Congress of turning a blind eye to the plea of the para teachers. PTI SCH ACD ACD