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Army blocks Buddha car

Calcutta, Sept. 2: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was stopped midway by a group of soldiers after an altercation over right of way while leaving Nandan tonight.

The chief minister’s convoy was allowed to pass only after his securitymen disclosed the passenger’s identity.

The soldiers, including the senior-most officer of the Eastern Command, apologised to the chief minister eventually.

Police said the incident took place around 8 pm when Bhattacharjee, a regular at the complex, was coming out.

J.S. Varma, the general officer commanding-in-chief of the Eastern Command, and a senior officer from Siachen were also leaving the premises at the same time after watching a play.

As the chief minister’s convoy started rolling, the officer from Siachen asked soldiers accompanying him to block the convoy. The officer ordered the pilot car not to move “an inch” as his senior’s convoy was leaving the premises, the police said.

Sensing trouble, Bhattacharjee’s security guards told the army officer that the chief minister was inside the blocked car.

By then, the chief minister, who initially thought that a traffic snarl was holding up the convoy, had called the securitymen and enquired about the delay.

“Varma then went to the chief minister’s securitymen. Immediately after learning who the passenger was, he approached the chief minister and apologised. The chief minister’s convoy then went out,” a police officer said.

A brigadier will meet the chief secretary tomorrow and apologise again.

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