The transfer of Kolkata Police Commissioner R.K. Pachnanda has raised questions about the government’s intentions behind the move.The decision is believed to have been taken due to the fallout of clashes earlier this week.
A day after the transfer, senior Trinamool Congress leader and the State’s Panchayat Minister, Subrata Mukherjee, said on Friday that the transfer was not a “punishment.”
The Chief Minister has not given any specific reason for the transfer, he maintained.
Chief Secretary Sanjoy Mitra had said on Thursday that there was “nothing unusual” about the transfer.
The transfer came a day after Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said he did not believe that local Trinamool Congress councillor Mohd Ikbal was not involved in the violence. City police had named him in its first information report.
The Minister said the murder of a Sub Inspector occurred when the victim was trying to protect the councillor from assailants. They belonged to a rival group supported by the Congress and had targeted Mr. Ikbal. However, the police did not go by this version and instead charged Mr. Ikbal for rioting and attempt to murder.
Local television channels reports have shown him standing beside Sheikh Suhan — who allegedly shot the policeman — and threatening a policeman at the site of the incident. Fresh video evidence aired on Friday pointed out that Mr. Ikbal’s son was also involved in the violence.
Along with the transfer, the decision to hand over the investigations to the Criminal Investigation Department has raised eyebrows in the rank and file of the city police. This is particularly so as the matter concerns the murder of a policeman serving in the same force.
Even as discontent simmered within sections of the police, the newly appointed police chief, Surajit Kar Purkayastha, visited the residence of the slain policeman.