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Bengal govt says no to transfer of 3 IPS officers

Bengal govt says no to transfer of 3 IPS officers
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Kolkata: The state government cleared its stand to the Centre and said the three IPS officers of Bengal cadre who have been called by the Home ministry on Saturday for Central deputation in regard to BJP chief J P Nadda's convoy attack will not be released, dubbing the move as "intimidatory" and emphasising that the state will have the "last word".

The Centre wrote to the state government urging to release three IPS officers — DIG Presidency Range Praveen Tripathi, ADG South Bengal Rajeev Mishra and SP Diamond Harbour Bholanath Pandey — for Central deputation. All the three officers were linked with Nadda's security arrangement that "the state government has provided as per the set protocol".

"They (Centre) wrote to the state government seeking its clearance to release the three IPS officers. It has been informed to them that the state government is not giving its nod to release the officers," said a senior-most officer of the state administration.

The Centre had sought the release by December 15, 2020.

The Trinamool Congress criticised the Centre over its letter to the state government seeking release of the three IPS officers stating it to be an "indirect attempt of imposing emergency in Bengal" by "terrorising all IAS and IPS officers" here "at the dictate of Union Home Minister Amit Shah".

Amidst the exchange of letters between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the state government over the issue, senior Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee wrote to Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla stating that his two letters to the Bengal government — the first one summoning the state Chief Secretary and Director General of Police while seeking the release of three IPS officers for Central deputation in the second — is "politically motivated".

"The Centre is trying to intimidate the state administration and police force by demanding that top-ranking police officers be sent on central deputation. These IPS officers were close to the convoy managing Nadda's security. What was their fault? The state will have the last word on the issue... the state will not bow down before the Centre's diktat," Banerjee added.

Raising question on the move of Nadda for allowing 50 two-wheelers and 30 cars with BJP flags in his convoy with Z-category security on Thursday, Banerjee stated in his letter that the Union Home Secretary wrote to the state government on Friday for Central deputation of three IPS officers who were responsible for the security arrangement during Nadda's rally in Diamond Harbour. "Your motive is very clear that by taking them you want to create pressure upon the said three police officers," he maintained in his letter adding that "it is shameful and dangerous that all laws have been thrown out in the river by your action at the instance of Amit Shah, BJP leader and Home Minister of India. You are indirectly trying to impose emergency in the state. You are terrorising all IAS and IPS officers of our state. Your every path suffers from malafide exercise of power. No one is above the rule of law. Neither Shah nor you are above law."

Strongly opposing the Centre's "actions" when Parliament is not in session, the Trinamool Congress MP questioned the presence of Rakesh Singh in Nadda's convoy stating "Singh is a known criminal and a convict in one case and 59 criminal cases are pending against him for instigating violence. Singh had demolished the Vidyasagar's half bust when Amit Shah participated in a rally in the 2019 Parliamentary election campaign at North Kolkata."

He further alleged that Singh "was raising abusive slogans" from his car to provoke people present at the spot.

Giving vivid details of the security arrangement made by the state government during Nadda's rally and reacting sharply for summoning two senior bureaucrats to discuss the state's "law and order" situation that is the "domain of the state under the 7th Schedule of the state list of the country's Constitution", Banerjee wrote to Bhalla that "it appears that with a political motive and at the instance of your minister, who is a political person, belonging to BJP, you have issued the said letter. You are trying to coerce the officers of Bengal with political vindictiveness and it appears you are interfering with the federal structure embodied under the Scheme of the Constitution of India".

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