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On Tuesday, February 19, Additional Director General of West Bengal Police (law and order) Anuj Sharma was appointed as the new Kolkata Police Commissioner. Rajeev Kumar, his predecessor, was earlier transferred as ADG & IGP of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Sharma is a 1991 batch IPS officer and while last year’s Gorkha unrest in Darjeeling was going on, he had played a major role in maintaining law and order. In 2015, he was promoted to the rank of ADG from from IG (Law and Order).
Outgoing city police chief Rajeev Kumar has now been posted as ADG & IGP of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Kumar has been under spotlight has a centre of controversy over being questioned by the CBI over the 2,500 crore Saradha chit fund scam case, reported The Indian Express.
With the forthcoming general elections, the shuffling took place as directed by the Election Commission. A notification that announced the shuffling said that the reason for doing this was “made in the interest of public service”, reported Business Standard.
According to sources, the party leadership in Delhi is being pressed by the state BJP so that it puts pressure on the section of IPS officers who are considered close to Mamata Banerjee, and Kumar happened to top the list.
Earlier, a team had been sent to Kumar’s residence by the CBI to question him as a part of the investigation process of the chit fund case. However, Kolkata police detained the team in a local police station, and Kumar remained inaccessible for interrogation for the day.
As alleged by the Centre, despite being repeatedly sent notices to appear for interrogation by the CBI, Kumar kept avoiding it. Had his statements been found unsatisfactory, he could have faced arrest.
Following this incident, a dharna was staged by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the matter went to the Apex Court. She alleged that in the wake of the elections, the Centre was using pressure tactics to scare her party. The Supreme Court in its order said that Kumar will have to cooperate with the CBI during the probe, however, the CBI could not arrest him.
Kumar is a 1989-batch IPS officer had been appointed earlier as the commissioner of police in the Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate and also as Special Task Force chief under the Kolkata Police. When the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams came to light in 2013, he was also appointed as a member of the Special Investigation Team to probe the cases. However, he was later questioned by the CBI for allegedly tampering with crucial evidence related to the case, and for allegedly possessing key documents related to the Saradha scam.
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