The state government on Thursday transferred Alipurduar district magistrate (DM) Nikhil Nirmal, who triggered controversy after a video of him and his wife thrashing a man inside a police station went viral this week. The state personnel and administrative reforms department issued a notification relieving Nirmal of his post in Alipurduar district and transferring him to the less significant post of managing director of West Bengal Tribal Development Cooperative Cooperation Ltd.
“The state government had to seek permission from the Election Commission of India (ECI) before transferring him. Currently, the voters’ list is being revised and hence all district magistrates are under the administrative jurisdiction of ECI. Therefore, the commission’s permission was necessary. We got the nod from ECI today and soon after the notification for his transfer order was issued,” said a highly placed official at the state secretariat, Nabanna.
Nirmal has been replaced by Subhanjan Das, who was the special secretary to additional secretary of the state health and family welfare department.
Das’s current position will be occupied by Mahua Banerjee, who was currently the commissioner of the state information and cultural affairs department.
The controversy started after Binod Kumar Sarkar, a local youth, allegedly posted “indecent” comments against Nirmal’s wife Nandhini Krishnan.
After a complaint was filed, the police picked up Sarkar on January 6 and brought him to the Falakata police station.
The DM and his wife then went to the police station, and thrashed Sarkar in the presence of police station in-charge and other officers.
After the incident, Krishnan had defended Nirmal’s actions on social media in a post which read, “If you want to remove him, remove him. But do not disturb a family man. Yes, we have slapped and kicked the man. Any other person would have killed such men. My husband told me during marriage that he will take care of me .. protect me. And he did. I am proud of him.”
The post was later deleted, and Nirmal had gone on leave.