Within hours of assuming office, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday initiated a major reshuffle in the police hierarchy, transferring 29 top-level police officers, mostly those who were shifted by the Election Commission prior to the polls. Among the top-level officers who have been brought back to their former positions are DG Virendra, ADG (Law and Order) Jawed Shamim and DG Security Vivek Sahay, an order issued this evening said.
The government also suspended Debashis Dhar, SP of Cooch Behar district where four persons were killed in CISF firing during polling on April 10 in Sitalkuchi constituency. Banerjee has already ordered a CID probe into the incident.
Dhar was replaced by K Kannan who had been sent to OCW (officer-on-compulsory-waiting) during the election. Virendra, who was transferred by the EC, has been reinstated to his former position.
Neeraj Nayan Pandey, who had been made the DG in place of Veerendra, was now posted as DG (Fire Services). Similarly, ADG (Law and Order) Jagmohan has been transferred to the civil defence and Jawed Shamim who was moved out by the commission for alleged police excesses during a Left rally has been brought back as the ADG (Law and Order).
In a separate order, Vivek Sahay, former DG Security, who was removed by the poll panel alleging lapse in security arrangements of the chief minister after she was injured in a rally in Purba Medinipur district, has been brought back to his former position. Gyanwant Singh who worked as ADG Security during the election got back his earlier post and he has been given the additional responsibility of ADG and IGP of the Armed Police.
Another transferred officer Sanjay Singh, officer-on- compulsory-waiting, has been posted as ADG and IG of Western range. In the morning, the chief minister had indicated that she was not happy with the ‘inefficiency’ of the police in different areas.
“The administration was not under my control for the last three months. It was under the control of the Election Commission. There is some inefficiency. We will take decisions regarding this soon,” she had said. The state home department, in addition to this, has made some significant transfers like bringing back Monoj Verma as the commissioner of Barackpore Commissionerate.
Verma was transferred from Barackpore and was made IG of Counter Insurgency Force by the commission. Similarly, Mitesh Jain who was made the commissioner of Asansol-Durgapur Commissionerate has been sent to compulsory waiting.
Ajay Thakur, presently posted as DIG, CID in the state police, was brought in his place. Two more commissioners were transferred.
Gourav Sharma presently working as Commissioner of Chanadannagar Police Commissionerate has been sent to Siliguri Police Commissionerate as commissioner and Arnab Ghosh, presently posted as member secretary of West Bengal Police Reform Board, has been made the commissioner of Chandannagar in his place. DIG, Barasat range, Mukesh has also been sent to officer-on-compulsory waiting.
The government has transferred SPs of 16 districts. Among them are some officers who were shunted by the commission during the election.
Bhola Nath Pandey who was transferred by the commission following the attack on BJP president J P Nadda’s convoy in Diamond Harbour has been made SP of Alipurduar. Soumya Roy who was transferred as his wife was contesting the election has been brought back as SP Howrah (Rural).
Meanwhile, the government sent Rahul Majumdar who is presently posted as joint secretary at the Chief Minister’s Office as the DM of Purulia district in place of Abhjit Mukhopadhyay. Mukhopadhyay was sent to OCW in the personnel and administrative reforms department in the state secretariat.