One of the biggest fallouts of the Kolkata campus riots, was the sacking Kolkata Police Commissioner RK Pachananda because of what Mamata called the “police’s failure to arrest the criminals in time”. Pachananda had earlier blamed political influence on the police force for the delayed arrests.
However, this is not the first time that Pachananda and Banerjee have exchanged a war of words. They have played the blame game when Banerjee was a young Congress leader and Pachananda was the Deputy Commissioner (South). Banerjee had sensationally accused him of biting her, and he had retorted asking whether he was a dog.
An Ei Samay report quotes Banerjee as saying, “Uni amake kamre diyechen” (He bit me), to which Pachananda have asked, “Aami ki dalkutta, je kamraabo?” (Am I a dalmatian that I will bite?).
Meanwhile West Bengal governor MK Narayanan has expressed his disapproval at Pachananda’s removal and asked for serious introspection by the government.
“If he has been removed for what has happened in the last few days, then quite clearly there is something wrong. I think it is something that has to be looked at very carefully,” Narayanan said.
Pachnanda, a 1983 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer who took over as the city police commissioner 18 March, 2011, will now be the additional director general (ADG), security.
One policeman – Tapas Chowdhury – a sub-inspector, was killed when he was shot from close range while trying to control clashing students in West Kolkata’s Garden Reach area on Tuesday. Twelve people have been taken into custody in connection with the killing.
Pachananda’s transfer comes at a time when the Banerjee government has been facing lot of criticism over the incident, especially for the alleged shielding of a Trinamool councillor by her party men.
The councillor Mohammad Iqbal has been named in the first information report although he is yet to be arrested. Video footage aired by television channels showed Iqbal standing beside Sheikh Shubhaan, the man who was caught on TV firing the bullet that allegedly killed the policeman.
Ei Samay reports that many have raised questions about whether Pachananda was made a scapegoat to safe guard TMC minister Firad Hakim.
Following the footage, state Urban Development Minister and Trinamool leader Firhad Hakim had defended Iqbal, saying he did not believe the councillor was “involved in the incident”.
Hakim’s comments attracted severe criticism from the opposition, especially the Communist Party of India-Marxist led Left Front, which even accused Hakim ofbeing “involved” in the incident.
“Because of him (Hakim) those who perpetrated the crime have not been booked or arrested. There are reasons to believe that the minister himself is involved,” leader of opposition in the assembly Surjya Kanta Mishra told the media.
With inputs from IANS