The Election Commission has issued orders effecting the transfer of four top-level cops in West Bengal, including Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma. Rajesh Kumar, formerly, the ADG of Pollution Control Board will replace Sharma.
The EC on Friday, 5 April, wrote to Malay Dey, Chief Secretary, West Bengal regarding transfer and posting of the officers.
Bidhannagar Police Commissioner Gyanwant Singh will be replaced by Natarajan Ramesh Babu, ADG and IGP, Operations.
EC also named Avannu Ravindranath, DC (Airport Division) of Bidhannagar, as the new superintendent of police of Birbhum and appointed Srihari Pandey, DC KAP, 3rd Battalion as the superintendent of police of Diamond Harbour.
The direction of the commission is to be implemented with immediate effect and a compliance report in respect to the joining of the transferred officers was needed to be sent within the next 24 hours.
Anuj Sharma Was Appointed in February
Anuj Sharma had replaced the former top cop of Kolkata Rajeev Kumar less than two months ago. His appointment had come amid allegations that Kumar had tampered with the evidence in the Saradha chit fund case. He was also questioned by the CBI, in the case.
oth Sharma and Gyanwant Singh were present with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee when she started her dharna to protest a CBI action against Kumar, news agency PTI reported.
Opposition Parties Welcome EC"s Move
All three major opposition parties - BJP, Congress and CPI(M) welcomed the Election Commission"s decision.
BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said this would gain confidence of the voters. “The police establishment in West Bengal has become a B-team of the Trinamool Congress government. I welcome the move of the ECI ,” he told news agency PTI.
Congress" Pradip Bhattacharya alleged that there were IPS officers who were working for the Trinamool Congress government and such move was always a welcome one.
"We had such complaints last time also. This year we have also seen that there are several IPS and IAS officers who are blatantly working for the ruling party. I have heard that the ECI has removed a few officers. But I do not understand why it has not taken any step against the officers in Malda and Raiganj. I am hopeful that the ECI will soon decide on this as well," he said.
CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty described the move as a positive one.
"During the chief minister"s dharna we have seen how these officers showed they were working for the TMC government. These officers have forgotten to show respect to the uniform. I think this was a good move of the ECI otherwise free and fair elections were not possible," he said.