Calcutta: A request from the Calcutta Police has put the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) in a fix.
The CAB has received a letter from the Officer in Charge of Maidan PS, Rahul Kumar Sarkar, requesting a portion of Eden Gardens premises for public use and as parking facility for a cultural programme, to be held at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Friday. The event, ‘Jai Ho’, is being organised by the Calcutta Police.
“They have asked us to open Gate No. 11, 12 and 14,” a senior CAB office-bearer said on Friday.
The CAB fears that this will set a bad precedent and others will also come with similar requests. The CAB, in the past, did allow different political parties to use the premises. But after the renovation prior to the 2011 World Cup, which modernised the stadium to world-class standards, the association stopped that practice.
“We haven’t allowed anyone to use our premises post-2011 World Cup. How can we give a special concession to the Calcutta Police?” the official asked.
On Thursday evening, a top-ranked police officer called up a senior CAB office-bearer requesting him to treat this as a one-off case.
The clinching part for the Calcutta Police is the fact that chief minister Mamata Banerjee is the chief guest. It remains to be seen whether Jagmohan Dalmiya and Co. would like to say no to a function where Mamata is the chief guest. After all, sooner than later they might need the state government’s help in some matter.
“Look, it’s not the chief minister who will be using one of the gates the organisers asked for. She will obviously use the VIP Gate of the Indoor Stadium. So there is no question of antagonising the government,” the official added.