Encourages others to follow example: Bharati returns medal Mamata Banerjee awarded in ’14https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/encourages-others-to-follow-example-bharati-returns-medal-mamata-banerjee-awarded-in-14-5616606/

Encourages others to follow example: Bharati returns medal Mamata Banerjee awarded in ’14

Ghosh, who was once considered close to the chief minister, had a falling out with her and resigned in December 2017. In February 2018, the state police had registered an extortion case against her, her husband and a few other police officers.

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“I hope that other officers be it in administration service or police service will follow my example and return their Medals when they become victims of state repression or injustice,” said Bharati Ghosh.

Retired IPS officer Bharati Ghosh, who had recently joined the BJP, has returned her Chief Minister’s Medal for Commendable Service, awarded to her by Mamata Banerjee in 2014.

Ghosh, who was once considered close to the chief minister, had a falling out with her and resigned in December 2017. In February 2018, the state police had registered an extortion case against her, her husband and a few other police officers. Ghosh’s house and properties were subsequently raided. The retired IPS officer approached the Supreme Court in October 2018 and it ordered ‘no coersive action” against her.

“I return the Chief Minister’s Medal for Commendable Service 2014 and the Corresponding Medal certificate to you. My work speaks in Jangal Mahal and such Medals are not needed. I hope that other officers be it in administration service or police service will follow my example and return their Medals when they become victims of state repression or injustice,” read her letter, which she sent to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) through speed post on Wednesday.

She mentioned in the letter that she would have returned the medal much sooner, but it was “dumped by CID under a pile or wreckage”.

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“I would have returned the said Medal much earlier but the damage and loot by CID officers on 1st February 2018 in my matrimonial residence at Naktala my residence in a shattered condition so much so as was the state of mind of the owners of that residence and it took me some time to find out the Medal which was dumped by the CID officers under a pile or wreckage,” read the letter.

When asked if the CMO had received the letter, an official at the state secretariat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “I am not aware about it.”

Ghosh, who was serving as Deputy Superintendent, was promoted from West Bengal Police Service to the Indian Police Service and became a part of the TMC government’s crackdown on Maoists. She became the longest-serving woman police chief of the Maoist-hit Jhargram and West Midnapore regions. Around this time, she was considered to be close to Mamata, who would publicly refer to her as “bhalo meye, “good girl” and “daughter”. Ghosh, in turn, would call her “Maa” of Jangalmahal.

Opposition parties had complained against Ghosh to the Election Commission (EC), which resulted in her being transferred during the elections in 2014 and 2016. She was reinstated after the polls concluded.

It was due to this closeness that Ghosh was transferred out of the area during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 2016 West Bengal Assembly polls, with opposition parties complaining against her to the Election Commission. Once the polls were over, she was reinstated.

Party sources said Ghosh had begun to fall out of favour after Mukul Roy left the TMC to join BJP. Ghosh was believed to be close to Roy. After the Sabang Assembly bypoll in December 2017, Ghosh was transferred to a posting in Barrackpore as third battalion commandant. On January 30, 2018, Ghosh submitted a written complaint to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, expressing her desire to resign.

“West Bengal is a state where a (former) IPS officer has to return her medal and another one has to take his own life. This proves what humiliation is heaped on them,” said state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu. He was referring to late IPS Gaurav Dutt, who had committed suicide on February 19.

The police had registered the extortion case against Ghosh after a complaint by Midnapore resident Chandan Majhi, who alleged that the police officers had taken 375 gm of gold from him on the promise of high returns, but never paid him back.