IPS officer should have taken up charges of corruption against Mamata much earlier: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

The Railway Ministry eagerly awaits the report from the Central Bureau of Investigation on all major appointments made since 2009, Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on Thursday.

His comments come after senior IPS officer Nazrul Islam alleged corruption when Mamata Banerjee was the Railway Minister.

Referring to the letter of Mr. Islam, who served as Executive Director, Security, in the Ministry of Railways in 2010, to the Home Ministry earlier this month, Mr. Chowdhury said the officer should have taken up the matter much earlier.

“Since he has written to the Home Ministry, the CBI will look into it. We are eagerly waiting for a report by the CBI.”

In the five-page letter, Mr. Islam, who is now West Bengal’s Additional Director-General and Inspector-General of Police ( Provisioning), has alleged the he was “used” by senior officials in the Ministry to collect bribes from the then Chief Security Commissioner, B.S. Sidhu. The allegations are significant as they come at a time when the CBI is probing a Rs. 10-crore bribery scam involving relatives of Pawan Kumar Bansal, who had to resign as Railway Minister after the charges emerged.

Initially, Ms. Banerjee had asked him to start investigations against Mr. Sidhu, Mr. Islam said, quoting her as having stated: “Sidhu is very corrupt. Suspend him. Throw him out.” However, after he got documentary evidence and also a compact disc containing evidence against him, to his surprise, “nothing was done.” “There was documentary evidence to prove the allegations of corruption against him. Yet, he was given an extension [in service].” Stating that the truth would be revealed once the CBI submitted its report, Mr. Chowdhury ridiculed the Trinamool Congress’ claim that Ms. Banerjee was “the most honest politician.” “Honesty has a wider dimension than just wearing a cotton sari and slippers. It has to be reflected in action, not in attire.”

Mr. Islam was chosen by Ms. Banerjee to work with her in the Ministry. However, of late Mr. Islam has raised questions about her credentials and has also written a book critical of the State government’s way of wooing the minorities.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Surya Kanta Mishra sought a clarification from Ms. Banerjee. “The issue is not confined to the State but concerns the entire country. If we do not get a reply from the Chief Minister within 48 hours, we will have to write to the Prime Minister, the Railway Minister and other Central agencies to probe [the matter] and bring out the truth.”