Other States

Centre takes action against West Bengal IPS officers

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with Kolkata police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. File

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with Kolkata police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. File  

In trouble for five more IPS officers from West Bengal cadre, the Centre has decided to strip them of their medals and debar them from being empanelled for Central deputation, a senior government official said on Thursday.

The officers had participated in a sit-in with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on February 4. Ms. Banerjee had sat on a dharna after a team of CBI officials had arrived at the residence of Kolkata commissioner of police Rajeev Kumar to question him in the Saradha chit fund case. Earlier, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had asked the West Bengal government to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Kumar, a 1989 batch IPS officer, for participating in the protest with the chief minister.

Prakash Singh, former DGP of Uttar Pradesh who moved the Supreme Court on police reforms said the officers violated conduct rules but the Centre would expose themselves of being “vindictive and petty” to debar them from central deputation.  He said the officers were caught in crossfire and they were pawns in a high voltage political drama between Centre and the State.

“Central government has taken a dim view of serving officers of uniformed forces taking part in sit-ins, dharnas etc. With respect to the officers who had participated in a dharna in Kolkata on 4th February, MHA is reported to have asked the W.B Government to take action as per All India Service conduct rules,” the official said.

The five officers apart from Mr. Kumar who participated in the sit-in are- Virendra (85 batch), DGP W.B; Vineet Kumar Goel (94 batch), ADG, Director, Security; Anuj Sharma (91) ADG Law and Order; Gyanwant Singh (93), CP, Bidhannagar - he was in uniform and Supratim Sarkar (97) Additional CP.

“In addition a number of measures are also being considered to be initiated against defaulting officers such as withdrawing medals or decorations which were conferred on them like meritorious service etc. Centre may also remove names of the delinquent officers from the empanelled list and bar them for a certain period from serving in the Central government,” the official said. Centre is contemplating issuing an advisory to all the States to ensure that officers of uniformed forces adhere to the conduct rules and maintain decorum.

Out of the five officers, Mr. Virendra received President Police Medal for Gallantry in 2010 and Mr. Sharma got the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2016. “I entirely disagree with any such course of action against All India Services officers, you (Centre) are guilty of being vindictive and petty. You don’t develop mechanism to insulate officers from political interference. I don’t recall any one being punished severely for such action,” Mr. Singh said.

Former Delhi Police commissioner Ajay Raj Sharma he doesn’t recall any such instance in the past where such punishment was contemplated for the officers.  “The IPS is a disciplined service, there are certain rules which should be followed, it for the government to decide the quantum of punishment,” Mr. Sharma said.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2020 1:50:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/centre-takes-action-against-west-bengal-ips-officers/article26203608.ece

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