Former Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar did not turn up at the Home Ministry in Delhi where he was supposed to reach by 10 am today, after the Election Commission relieved him from his duty as additional director general of the CID in West Bengal. The poll commission’s move to attach him with the Home Ministry on central deputation came after violence broke out during a rally by BJP chief Amit Shah in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Mr Kumar left Kolkata in an IndiGo flight at 9 am, which would have landed in Delhi at 11:20 am, according to the compliance report sent to the Election Commission by the West Bengal chief electoral officer.
Mr Kumar neither joined in his new duty nor gave any information, news agency IANS reported quoting unnamed sources.
Indian Administrative Service officer Atri Bhattacharya has also been relieved from the post of principal secretary, home and hill affairs, for “having interfered in the process of conducting the election…” the Election Commission said in a statement on Wednesday.
The election body in its order did not mention why Mr Kumar was relieved from the CID.
An intense battle has been raging ever since some people vandalised the statue of Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar when Amit Shah’s roadshow was passing by a college in Kolkata. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and her party leaders have brought out photos and videos to support their claim that it was BJP workers who vandalised the statue.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today denied the Trinamool Congress’s accusation and turned the nozzle back on them. “We saw hooliganism by TMC workers again during bhai Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata, they vandalised Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue…” he said.
The Election Commission yesterday curtailed campaigning in Bengal over the violence, and said it was “deeply anguished at the vandalism done to the statue” of the icon.
Rajeev Kumar has had several run-ins with the centre in the last few months. On February 3, a team of CBI officers was stopped from entering Mr Kumar’s home in Kolkata when they had gone to question him in connection with chit fund scam cases. The move had prompted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to start a sit-in-protest in the heart of the city against what she called was an “the attack on constitutional norms”.
Over a week later, acting on the Supreme Court’s order, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) questioned Mr Kumar for five days in Shillong. The top court had also ordered that no coercive action can be taken against Rajeev Kumar and he cannot be arrested.
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