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Former Kolkata Top Cop, Sent To Delhi by EC, Says Personal Issue Led to Delay in Reporting at Home Ministry

The Election Commission's move to attach Rajeev Kumar with the Home Ministry came after violence broke out during a rally by BJP chief Amit Shah in Kolkata.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:May 16, 2019, 3:14 PM IST
Former Kolkata Top Cop, Sent To Delhi by EC, Says Personal Issue Led to Delay in Reporting at Home Ministry
File photo of Rajeev Kumar.

Kolkata: Former Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar, who was relieved by the Election Commission from his duty as additional director general of the CID in West Bengal, did not turn up at the Home Ministry in Delhi where he was supposed to reach by 10 am on Thursday.

The poll panel's move came after violence broke out during a rally by BJP chief Amit Shah in Kolkata on Tuesday.

Speaking with News18, Kumar said he will report to Union Home Ministry on Thursday evening due to some personal issue that led to the delay. “Due to some flight/personal issues, I will be reporting to the ministry in the evening,” he said. Asked if he faced any official hurdle before reporting to the MHA, he said, “As of now there is no issue.”

On Wednesday, the Election Commission (EC) had invoked Article 324 of the constitution for the first time in Bengal and removed Kumar and Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya with immediate effect, and also curtailed the poll campaign in the state by a day. As per the EC’s order, all parties will now have to end their campaigning by 10pm on Thursday.

On February 19, Kumar was relieved from the post of commissioner of police, Kolkata, and officially transferred to West Bengal CID as ADG by the EC. Then, Anuj Sharma, IGP (Law and Order), took charge of new commissioner. But he, too, was removed in April and Rajesh Kumar was appointed as the new Kolkata police commissioner.

In 2016, Kumar was appointed as the Kolkata police commissioner in place of Surajit Kar Purakayastha, who was promoted to the state CID department. In May 2018, the state government created a post on the lines of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and appointed Surajit Kar Purkayastha as its chief.

Kumar is a 1989 batch IPS officer of West Bengal and had earlier worked as commissioner of police, Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate and as Special Task Force (STF) chief under the Kolkata Police.

He was also one of the members of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to investigate the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams that surfaced in 2013. It was because of his efforts that Maoists were smoked out of jungalmahal in Bengal.

Kumar recently hits the headlines after a standoff with the CBI officers who went to his Loudon Street residence in South Kolkata for a ‘secret operation’. According to the CBI, Kumar needs to be questioned regarding missing documents and files in chit fund scams.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had rushed to Kumar's residence and stood beside him. "Let them prove that Rajeev Kumar has done anything wrong. I repeat again – the Kolkata Police Commissioner is among the best in the world. His integrity, bravery and honesty are unquestioned," she had said.

Polling in the seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha elections will take place on May 19 in Bengal's Dum Dum, Barasat, Bashirhat, Joynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Kolkata South, Kolkata North and Jadavpur.

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