A day after K. Jayaraman, Commissioner, Siliguri Police Commissionerate, was put on compulsory wait for arresting District Magistrate of Malda G. Kiran Kumar for his alleged involvement in a financial scam involving the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority when he was the chief executive officer there, the Opposition came down heavily on the West Bengal government for interfering with police investigations.

“This will not help to rein in corruption in the administration… When it comes to curbing corruption the State government sits idle, but when the police commissioner [Mr. Jayaraman] took action he was sent to compulsory waiting,” said Mohd. Salim, Central Committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

By removing Mr. Jayaraman from his post, the State government was trying to send a clear message to all IPS officers that they must not do anything without the State government’s permission, he added.

 “The message is that IPS officers will have to consult the State government at every stage and not to do anything which Madam [Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee] does not approve of,” Mr. Salim said.

Abdul Mannan, State Congress spokesperson, accused the State government of “not giving importance to efficiency of officers in the administration and protecting those officers who show unquestioned allegiance it.” Refuting Saturday’s claim of Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra that the State government was not informed in advance about the arrest, Mr. Mannan said the Siliguri Police Commissionerate “was seeking permission in this regard for the past six months.”

“The State government does not pay heed to any rules and acts on its own whims. It has sent a clear message to the administration that no action can be taken against those who show unquestioned allegiance to it even if they are involved in illegal activities,” he alleged.

Rahul Sinha, State unit president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, alleged that Mr. Jayaraman’s removal “makes it clear that just the way the State government is ‘involved’ in the Saradha scam it is trying to conceal the truth [in regard to the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority scam] and is sheltering corruption.”