A high-level conference of police officers, convened by Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan here on Monday, decided to strengthen the security arrangements for Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in view of the attack on him in Kannur on Sunday.

The Minister told the media after the conference that the officers, who evaluated the present security arrangements, proposed Z category security for the Chief Minister. However, as the Chief Minister was averse to access control, fresh security arrangements would be finalised only in consultation with Mr. Chandy.

The Minister said the attack on the Chief Minister was pre-meditated. Those who threw stones at him had pretended to be those protecting the Chief Minister and had merged with the security cordon around him before attacking him. This was the first time that a Chief Minister of the State hade been attacked.

Demanding that the Opposition withdraw its protests against Mr. Chandy, Mr. Radhakrishnan said the Opposition had been harassing the Chief Minister for the past five months. Though it claimed that its black-flag demonstrations were peaceful, violence was often unleashed and as many as 207 policemen had been injured over the past five months. This was not becoming of the Opposition in the State. It should change its wrong approach and end its cruelty towards Mr. Chandy. He had swelling on the chest.

He pointed out that the Opposition was planning blockade of the Chief Minister’s residence from November 9. Never before had any Opposition parties in the State blocked the residence of the Chief Minister though there had been many agitations. The Left Democratic Front was forsaking all norms.

The Minister parried questions whether there was security failure at the police athletic meet where the Chief Minister was attacked. The police had intelligence reports about possible violence by the protesters and more than 1,000 policemen, including several senior police officers, had been deployed in Kannur for protection of the Chief Minister.

He denied that he had raised any objection to Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and other leaders visiting the Chief Minister. Currently, there was a crowd at the hospital wishing to see the Chief Minister. However, visitors had been restricted. He had only asked Mr. Vijayan whether he could make the visit on Tuesday.

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