A man claiming to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fan managed to cause a big security breach by breaking through Special Protection Group’s security cover moments after the conclusion of the Visva-Bharati convocation on Friday morning.
The man, identified as Swapan Marit, had reportedly traveled from Krishnagar, about 120 kms from Bolpur, where Shantiniketan is situated. He climbed up to the stage and succeeded in touching Modi’s feet before presenting him a portrait of Tagore. Marit did all that right in front of the SPG security personnel.
Soon, the SPG personnel realised that the PM’s security had been breached as they rushed to take the man in their control. Within seconds Marit had been taken out of the stage. Marit had climbed on to the stage just wehn West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina were coming off the dais.
While on stage, Marit touched Modi’s feet, presented him Tagore’s portrait before posing for a photo together. He was later taken to Bolpur police station, where he was detained for a night. Cops said that they did not suspect any ill motive behind Marit gaining access to the stage except that he was the PM’s fan.
The security breach of the prime minister has, however, left everyone shocked. This assumes significance in light of the assassination of former prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in a similar manner, 27 years ago.
When contacted, officiating Visva Bharati Vice-Chancellor Sabujkali Sen told PTI “I have seen the incident, I was present on the dias then. I don’t know the person.”
Later cops told Times of India that PM’s immediate security detail was being handled by SPG personnel and state police personnel were manning the area outside the sanitised zone. An elaborate security arrangement was in place with hundreds of police personnel setting up checkpoints on every road leading to the two venues, Amra Kunja (where the convocation was held) and Bangladesh Bhavana, of the day.