Stung by the Election Commission’s latest order to transfer four West Bengal senior police officers ahead of the elections, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday wrote to the poll watchdog over its “biased” decision and accused it of acting “at the behest of the BJP”.
“I strongly feel that the EC plays a neutral role to save democracy in India. But, it is very unfortunate that I have to write this letter today to raise strong protest against the transfer order dated April 5, 2019 issued by the EC by way of removing four senior officers from their existing positions,” Banerjee wrote in her letter, a copy of which was shared by news agency PTI.
“The decision of the Commission is highly arbitrary, motivated and biased. We have every reason to believe that the decision of the Commission is at the behest of the ruling party at the Centre, i.e the BJP,” she added.
Days before the Lok Sabha elections, the poll body ordered the transfer of four officers, including the commissioners of Kolkata and Bidhannagar, and relieved them of all election-related duties.
A notification issued by the Commission read, “I am directed to state that the Commission has taken a review of the poll preparedness of the state of West Bengal. The Commission has decided to make following transfer/posting with immediate effect in respect of West Bengal.”
Sources said the poll panel’s decision was based on reports filed by Special Police Observer for West Bengal, Vivek Dubey.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation has sought the custodial interrogation of former Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar, who is currently being probed in Shillong in connection with chit fund scams. The agency has appealed to the apex court to remove the “no-coercive action” clause in order to know the finer details of the case.
“We will appeal before the Supreme Court to remove the “no coercive action” clause against Rajeev Kumar. If a person has additional protection at times he or she doesn’t reveal things. It would be better if we question him in our custody,” a senior CBI official told PTI.
A team of CBI officers was stopped from entering the residence of Kumar when he was the city police chief on February 3. They had gone to question him in connection with the scam cases, prompting CM Banerjee to launch a dharna in the heart of the city protesting against “the attack on constitutional norms”.
On February 5, the apex court had directed Kumar to appear before the central investigative agency in connection with the matter. It had also said that no coercive step should be taken against Kumar.
Acting on the apex court’s order, the CBI had questioned Kumar for several days in Shillong from February 9.