Retd IPS officer blames Mamata govt in suicide note, sparks Oppn attack
Gaurav Dutt, a 1986 batch IPS retired on 31 December 2018 after remaining on compulsory wait for nearly a decade.Updated: Feb 25, 2019 11:10 IST
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has come under a sharp attack from opposition leaders after a retired IPS officer Gaurav Chandra Dutt committed suicide on February 19.
Dutt, a 1986 batch IPS retired on 31 December 2018 after remaining on compulsory wait for nearly a decade.
The officer committed suicide by slashing his wrist after sending out an eight-page letter in which he blamed the system for punishing him for 10 years without a proper hearing. “Constant torture and humiliation led me to this drastic step,” Dutt wrote in a letter to the chief minister, a copy of which is in HT’s possession.
BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said he would request the Union home ministry to conduct a thorough probe on why the state government dragged the departmental inquiry against Dutt for 10 years.
“He was a victim of political vendetta, probably because he could not become a yes-man like many of his colleagues,” said Sinha.
Mukul Roy, once a confidant of Mamata Banerjee before he fell out, demanded that a case of abetment to suicide be registered against the chief minister.
CPI (M) politburo member and Lok Sabha MP Mohammad Salim echoed Sinha’s vendetta point.
“Imagine a situation, when an IPS officer, who has just retired, has to take such a drastic step. I have heard that he hoped his final step would help his wife get the dues. Now in this state only those officers who can be yes-men are favoured. Dutt, somehow, did not learn that art,” said Salim.
“I feel sorry for his (Dutt) family since political vendetta drove him to depression and then compelled him to take an extreme step,” remarked state Congress president Somen Mitra.
“My husband sent the letter to a few close friends as well,” said his wife Sreyasi Dutt.
Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee did not respond to calls and text messages.
Officers placed on compulsory wait are not given a posting. In law, a compulsory wait is not a punishment and was designed as a short-term measure, say when the government is looking for a suitable post for an officer.
Dutt was placed on compulsory wait in 2009 after wives of two constables petitioned the state Human Rights Commission alleging sexual harassment by Dutt.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was then the chief minister in charge of the home department.
Dutt alleged that he was framed in the harassment case because he tried to free the police training college at Barrackpore of corruption and other malpractices.
Dutt also mentioned how his hopes of getting justice after the change of guard in the state in 2011 were belied.
“I could not withstand govt’s vindictiveness, revengeful attitude and vendetta to demoralise and destroy me,” he wrote in the letter.
“My financial position after retirement has become precarious now with medical treatment of both me and my wife and daily expenses also,” he added.