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Police in West Bengal undergoing major shake up

Representative Image: Young officers who’ve been entrusted with key postings are all Bengalis.   | Photo Credit: RAJEEV BHATT

The police administration in West Bengal, where the Trinamool Congress scored a massive win against the BJP in a bitterly contested election for the Assembly, is undergoing a major shake up.

So far, more than 45 IPS officers have been transferred in the overhaul, a process that began last Wednesday when Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee took charge as the Chief Minister for the third time. Many more officers are expected to receive their orders in the coming days. Eight of them have been put on “compulsory wait”, when they aren’t assigned any duties.

“More changes are in the pipeline, they are all coming soon,” said a senior police officer, who did not want to be named. “A noticeable feature of this overhaul is that importance is being given to Bengali IPS officers,” the officer said, pointing out that most of the officers put on “compulsory wait” were non-Bengalis appointed to their posts by the Election Commission during the election process.

Young officers who’ve been entrusted with key postings are all Bengalis: Arnab Ghosh as the Police Commissioner of Chandannagar, Sayak Das as the SP of Ranaghat, Debarshi Datta as the SP of Jalpaiguri, Rahul De as the SP of South Dinajpur and Avijit Banerjee as the SP of Diamond Harbour.

“The importance being given to Bengali officers may be the outcome of the thought that a son of the soil would be better acquainted with the sentiments of the local people,” the officer said.

The “Outsider versus insider” was one of the battle cries in the elections, with the TMC projecting Ms. Banerjee as Bengal’s “own daughter” challenged by outsiders such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. This cry grew shriller as both campaigned aggressively and the Election Commission replaced several IPS officers.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 10:36:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/police-in-west-bengal-undergoing-major-shake-up/article34528213.ece

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