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This article was first published 7 years ago  » News » Mamata transfers police officers for following EC's orders

Mamata transfers police officers for following EC's orders

By Payal Mohanka
June 08, 2016 14:43 IST
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Mamata BanerjeeSeveral police officers who followed the Election Commission's orders during the West Bengal assembly polls get punishment transfers.
Payal Mohanka reports from Kolkata.

Hell hath no fury like a chief minister scorned.

Less than a month after being re-elected West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee appears to be settling scores.

Those perceived to have enthusiastically followed the Election Commission's orders are now being taken to task. Seventeen police officers in the state have been transferred from their posts.

It is the season for punishment and rewards.

The list includes Jawed Shamim, widely respected as an efficient officer. Shamim, the police commissioner of Bidhannangar who was in the news for arresting three of the four accused in the Salt Lake Sector V rape case, has been appointed Director, Economic Offences.

Tanmay Ray Chaudhuri, who was transferred by the EC, has been appointed police commissioner of Barrackpore.

The message is clear: All those who thought the Election Commission was supreme now know who the real boss is.

"Shamim's conduct was impeccable during the elections," says a senior police officer. "He was under the Election Commission's glare as they knew the Bidhannagar municipal elections in September were badly rigged. Shamim played by the rule book, something which our chief minister cannot accept."

Siliguri Commissioner of Police Manoj Verma lost his job apparently after Communist Party of India-Marxist veteran Ashok Bhattacharya won the assembly seat. Verma has been posted as deputy inspector general at the traffic headquarters.

Similarly, Asansol-Durgapur Police Commissioner Siddh Nath Gupta seems to have paid the price after the CPI-M won four seats in the area. He has been transferred as inspector general, organisation.

Officers transferred by the Election Commission like Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajiv Kumar were reinstated while others like Bharati Ghosh, said to be close to the chief minister, have been granted more powers. In addition to her posting as superintendent of police, Paschim Medinipur, Ghosh is now also SP, Jhargram.

Six senior Indian Police Service officers in the state are 'on compulsory waiting.' Their offence: Conducting free and fair elections.

"This was coming. We are not surprised. We were expecting punishment and rewards," a police officer points out.

Howrah's commissioner of police was spared as the ruling Trinamool Congress won all the seats in the district. The TMC won all the seats in Bidhannagar and in Kolkata, yet both commissioners of police were transferred.

The transfers are said to be based entirely on the chief minister's perception and the perception of those close to her.

"It is a lesson for the police force," says a senior police officer. "Emboldened by the EC, 'if you ride roughshod over my people, I will not spare you.' Next time there are elections in the state, anyone toeing the EC line is doing it at their own risk."

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Payal Mohanka in Kolkata
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