West Bengal IPS officer Rajiv Kumar reports to Home Ministry

Senior West Bengal cadre IPS officer Rajiv Kumar reported to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday as directed by the Election Commission a day ago.

After violence was reported in Kolkata during BJP president Amit Shah’s rally, the EC relieved Mr. Kumar, Additional Director General of Police (CID) from his post with immediate effect and directed him to report to the MHA at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

The EC also called halt to the election campaigning in West Bengal a day earlier, from 10 p.m. on Thursday. Nine parliamentary constituencies will vote in the last phase of elections on May 19.

A senior government officer said Mr. Kumar reported to the MHA on schedule.

“Kumar complied with the EC order. Currently he is on attachment with the MHA,” the Ministry spokesperson said.

In February, the MHA asked the State government to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Kumar for participating in a sit-in with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The Chief Minister came out in defence of the officer and sat on a protest after a CBI team turned up at the residence of Mr. Kumar to question him in the Saradha scam.

In another development, the Special Protection Group (SPG) shot off a letter to the West Bengal police expressing its concerns that the rescheduled political rally of Ms. Banerjee could lead to a confrontation between supporters of both groups (the BJP and the Trinamool).

After the EC order, Ms. Banerjee’s rally, scheduled for Friday was advanced by a day and moved to a ground, only 6-7 km away from the venue at Achna in Mathurapur where Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a meeting.

The SPG letter said, “As the venue and timings are close to the venue and timings of the PM programme, a law and order situation due to the confrontation between supporters of both groups cannot be ruled out. This may be looked into and steps may be taken to prevent any untoward incident.”

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