The West Bengal government has decided that police personnel posted at the state secretariat 'Nabanna' will not be allowed to use their mobile phones during duty hours, a top bureaucrat said on Tuesday.
The decision was taken as part of measures to beef up security arrangements for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after a stranger managed to sneak into her residence despite the presence of a large number of police personnel there.
"It has been noticed that most of the time the police personnel on duty are busy on social networking sites that hamper their job. To curb this, we have decided to ban the use of mobile phones by security officials while being on duty," the bureaucrat told PTI.
The police personnel will have to deposit their mobile phones before they join their duty at 'Nabanna' and will get them back after their shift is over, he said. The decision might also be implemented at other governmental offices.
"It is a part of tightening the security arrangements at Nabanna," he said. More police personnel will be posted at the chief minister's residence on each shift. "Earlier, there used to be 70 police personnel in one shift. From now on, there will be 18 more," the official said.
The administration also decided to set up additional bunkers, police pickets, and a new watch tower near Banerjee's residence to tighten the security in the area, he said. A decision has also been taken to install CCTVs at several alleys around Banerjee's residence in Kalighat, the officer said.
Banerjee, covered by a 'Z Plus' security, also has a 24X7 three-tier security around her residence where at least 150 police personnel and 10 commandos are deputed. She is accompanied by at least 32 to 36 security guards.
On the intervening night of Saturday-Sunday, one person sneaked into Banerjee's residence at around 1.20 AM and remained inside until security personnel spotted him at around 8 AM. He was arrested.
The incident triggered a security scare as questions were raised about how he went past the Z-Plus security cover and managed to enter her residence without anyone noticing. The person is believed to have scaled a wall of Banerjee's house to get an entry.