Poll panel might remove Kolkata top cop after complaints of TMC link
The election commission is likely to remove Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar after allegations of working at the behest of the ruling Trinamool Congress, just days before the seven-phase assembly polls begin in West Bengal.Assembly Elections Updated: Mar 31, 2016 13:29 IST
The election commission is likely to remove Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar after allegations of working at the behest of the ruling Trinamool Congress, just days before the seven-phase assembly polls begin in West Bengal.
The BJP recently alleged that Kumar, an IPS officer of the 1989 batch, had a hand in an attempted sting operation on its former state president, Rahul Sinha.
Two policemen were suspended on Monday for allegedly trying to bribe Sinha, who made them wait and alerted police.
The BJP alleged that the Trinamool Congress, which was embarrassed by a video that purportedly showed 13 party leaders accepting cash bribes to lobby for a fictitious company, was behind the foiled sting.
“As far as we know, the paperwork (to remove Kumar) is ready. ECI will formally announce it tomorrow (Thursday),” a bureaucrat told HT.
Kumar became the commissioner in January-end. Before that, he was criticised for his alleged inaction as the head of a team set up by chief minister Mamata Banerjee to probe the multi-crore Saradha scam.
The case, which shocked the country and became a political issue, was later handed over to the CBI.
The Congress too complained to the poll panel against Kumar and wanted his immediate removal from the post. Opposition parties requested the commission to keep him away from election-related duties.
“It’s a strong message to those in the administration working for Trinamool Congress,” Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said.
Former Kolkata mayor and CPI-M leader Bikash Bhattacharya said: “We smelt a rat when Rajeev Kumar was made the police commissioner in the first place. He tried his best to delay the CBI probe in Saradha.”
BJP’s Sinha thanked the poll panel and said: “It also proves that my complaint was correct.”
In the Bengal elections, a formidable Trinamool Congress is up against the BJP, which is trying to gain a foothold in the state where it has been traditionally weak.
The Left Front, which ruled Bengal for three decades before Banerjee came to power in 2011, is in an alliance with the Congress.