West Bengal Govt reinstates 11 IPS officers; will cops’ loyalties be divided now?

The moment Election Commission lifted the Model Code of Conduct, the West Bengal government, led by Mamata Banerjee, was in full swing to reinstate the officers — both in administrative and police levels. As many as 11 IPS officers transferred by the Election Commission were reinstated in order to go back to the pre-election hierarchy. From outside, it may again seem “all is well” for the state government, but the reality may be in stark contrast.

If sources are to be believed, there’s a sort of panic that has crept in in the IAS and IPS levels, especially in the police department. After Former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar and the CBI fight almost reaching its climax the officers are believed to be maintaining a balance in their work, unlike the pre-election regime. “After having seen what Rajeev Kumar is made to face, it’s all the other top IPS officers in the Kolkata and West Bengal Police sceptical,” a source close the developments told The Lateralz.

It is alleged by the opposition parties in Bengal that the Mamata Banerjee government used the police to supress their voice for the entire duration she has been the Chief Minister of the state. The cops even took a lot of wrath from opposition and public as well. But indications of a “change” are loud and clear in the power corridors.

The source describes, “Don’t think police officers will dance according to the tunes of the ruling party any more. They will approach every matter with balance and precision. The Kolkata police are anyway under lot of pressure for the Saradha and Narada scams.

“The fact that no FIR was registered in case of Abhishek Banerjee’s wife getting detained at the airport for possessing gold, more than permissible limit, has also not put the top cops in good stead. Now with another strong opposition party in fray, the officers will not take any chance by blatantly taking sides.”

It may be recalled that following Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s attempt to reach Mr Kumar regarding the Saradha Scam resulted in the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s dharna in Kolkata back in February. Now with CBI tightening its noose and is all set to arrest Kumar in connection with the Saradha Scam, the ex-top cop has gone underground.

Former CP of Kolkata is being hounded by the country’s top investigating agency CBI. It is learnt, central agency had served summons at the Loudon Street DC office and the Bhavani Bhawan for Rajeev Kumar asking him to be present at the Salt Lake’s CGO Complex for investigation on Monday morning. In reply, Rajeev Kumar has written back to CBI asking for a seven-day ‘leave’ to join the investigation. Kumar is believed to be in his hometown Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Mr Kumar has been accused of tampering with the evidence of the Saradha scam that rocked the entire country in 2013.

Meanwhile, Kumar along with 10 other IPS officers were transferred by the Election Commission following the vandalisation of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow on May 14. Another two top officers, Kolkata police commissioner Anuj Sharma and Salt Lake commissioner Gyanwant Singh were also reinstated, according to news agency PTI. Sharma replaced Rajesh Kumar, who was appointed to replace Sharma on EC orders, is yet to get a new posting.

Experts believe the rise of the BJP in West Bengal, which will now send 18 MPs to the lower house of the Parliament, will make the cops jobs tougher than before. The scenario for the Mamata Banerjee government may not be the same as it was pre-election if the cops’ loyalties are divided.

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