Centre hauls up five other Bengal IPS officers for presence at Mamata Banerjee's dharna; may strip off their medals

The Centre on Thursday escalated action originally ordered against Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar for his presence at a dharna called by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on 4 February, to include five other top police officers who were present at the protest venue in Kolkata, in a move that is set to affect the entire brass of Bengal police.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at the dharna. PTI

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at the dharna. PTI

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had, on Tuesday, asked the West Bengal government to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Rajeev Kumar. In a letter addressed to the West Bengal chief secretary, it had MHA said Kumar had violated the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968/AIS (Discipline & Appeal) Rules, 1969.

On Thursday, however, the MHA reportedly initiated a number of measures against all five "defaulting" officers, including stripping them off their medals, a source told ANI.

Tuesday's letter mentioned that as per the information received by the MHA, Kumar sitting at Mamata's dharna is prima facie in contravention of the provisions of the official rules.

While the MHA letter recognises that other police officers had been present at the dharna along with Kumar, disciplinary action had only been ordered against the Kolkata Commissioner of Police.

"You all know why," TMC member and Jadavpur University professor Monojit Mondal had said on Wednesday when asked why other police officers were ignored while Kumar faced the music.

The five officers, apart from Kumar, who particpated in the sit-in are DGP Virendra (1985 batch), ADG Director-Security Vineet Kumar Goel (1994 batch), ADG Law and Order Anuj Sharma (1991 batch), Commissioner of Police (Bidhannagar) Gyanwant Singh (1993), who was in uniform, and Additional Commissioner of Police Supratim Sarkar (1997), reported The Hindu.

Sources further told ANI on Thursday that the Centre may also remove the names of the officers who had been present on Mamata's dais from the empanelled list and bar them from serving for a period of time. The officers are likely to argue that because Mamata had moved the secretariat to the protest venue, they were performing their duty in ensuring her safety at the site, reported News18.

Mamata had on Tuesday described the MHA's hauling-up of Kumar as a "blatant lie" and said the officer never went up to the dais where she protested for three days against the CBI's attempt to question Kumar in connection with chit fund scams.

She had said, "Rajeev never joined me in the dharna. What kind of propaganda is this? He is the Commissioner of Police and I am the Chief Minister, can he not come to me to consult some important administrative decisions?"

She called off her dharna on Tuesday evening after the Supreme Court forbade the CBI from taking any coercive action against Kumar, but vowed to wage a battle against the Narendra Modi government till it was ousted from power.

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Updated Date: Feb 07, 2019 20:44:07 IST

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