West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’ close aide and Kolkata ex-cop, Rajeev Kumar, for whom the TMC chief had gone beyond the rulebook and sat on a 72 dharna in his defence, has once again been reinstated by her as the additional director general of the state Criminal Investigation Department.
The 10 other IPS officers who were transferred by the Election Commission along with Rajeev Kumar have also been brought back.
The state government took the decision immediately after the Model Code of Conduct ceased to operate in the state. It also reinstated Kolkata Commissioner of Police Anuj Sharma to his post. However, Rajesh Kumar, who the poll panel had appointed to replace Sharma, is yet to be assigned a new post.
Rajeev Kumar was transferred from his post of Kolkata Police chief to take up the charge of ADG CID on February 19. On 15 May, the ECI had removed him from his post and had asked him to report to MHA. Following the incidents of violence and vandalism at Amit Shah’s roadshow, the ECI had taken stern action, removing Kumar and Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya from their posts and, for the first time ever, invoked article 324 to curtail election campaigning in the state.
Moreover, Rajeev Kumar skipped a meeting with the CBI officials on Monday despite being summoned by the agency for questioning in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam, officials said. Kumar, however, sent a letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), seeking some more time to appear before its officers in connection with the case.
Recently, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has issued a lookout notice (LoC) against the ex-Kolkata cop. The notice was issued on Sunday in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam case to prevent him from leaving the country.
Rajeev Kumar is accused of shielding some of the accused and destroying evidence in West Bengal’s Saradha Chit Fund scam case. On February 3, a team of CBI officials had arrived at his residence in Kolkata to interrogate him. What followed was an unprecedented political and legal drama. Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had jumped to his defence, moving the state machinery against the CBI and alleging that the attempt to interrogate Kumar is a ‘conspiracy’ by the central government against her.
CBI officials were also attacked, heckled and detained by the Kolkata police under Mamata’s orders. Mamata’s Dharna had lasted almost 72 hours where she had kept on claiming that PM Modi and Amit Shah are planning to overthrow her government and the interrogation order against Rajeev Kumar was a plot by NSA Ajit Doval.
The dharna drama had ended after the Supreme Court had ordered the interrogation of Rajeev Kumar at a location outside Bengal following which he was interrogated for days in Meghalaya’s Shillong along with some other accused in the case.
The MHA had also taken a strong objection to the serving IPS officers attending the Bengal CM’s dharna. The ministry had ordered the government of West Bengal to initiate a probe against officers who were seen sharing the stage with the CM.