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It's unconstitutional & completely unacceptable, says Mamata

Its unconstitutional & completely unacceptable, says Mamata
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Kolkata: The Centre's fresh missive to the Bengal government on Thursday, asking it to immediately relieve three IPS officers to join for central deputation in their "new assignment" attracted sharp criticism from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who termed the move as a "blatant misuse of emergency provision of IPS Cadre Rule 1954" encroaching "upon state's jurisdiction".

The three officers — ADG South Bengal Rajeev Mishra, DIG Presidency Range Praveen Tripathi and Superintendent of Police of Diamond Harbour Bholanath Pandey — headed the security arrangements for BJP national president JP Nadda when his car was attacked on December 9.

In a fresh letter to the state government on Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs asked the state to release them immediately as Mishra has been already deputed as IG of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Tripathi as DIG Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Pandey as SP of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD).

However, despite the letter from the Centre, the state government has decided not to release the three IPS officers. Sources said sticking to its previous stand, the Bengal government would not "give release order" for the officers to allow them to go for central deputation and take up the assignment with which they have already been deputed.

Disgruntled over the Centre's move by "bulldozing the federal structure" when the state has already cleared its stand of not releasing the officers on December 12 itself, Banerjee criticised the BJP-led Central government in a tweet stating that "it's unconstitutional & completely unacceptable! We wouldn't allow this brazen attempt by the Centre to control the State machinery by proxy! West Bengal is not going to cow-down in front of expansionist & undemocratic forces." Since the law and order issue is the state's subject, the state government would move court in this connection.

She further stated that "GoI's order of central deputation for the 3 serving IPS officers of West Bengal despite the State's objection is a colourable exercise of power and blatant misuse of emergency provision of IPS Cadre Rule 1954. This act is nothing but a deliberate attempt to encroach upon State's jurisdiction & demoralize the serving officers in WB. This move, particularly before the elections is against the basic tenets of the federal structure."

On December 11, the Centre wrote to the state government to release the three IPS officers, and this came a day after Nadda's convoy was attacked. Raising the issue of the state's law and order situation following an adverse report by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, the Centre had also summoned state Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and Director General of Police Virendra. In reply to the letter on the same day, the state government had requested "to dispense with the presence of state officials in the meeting" with Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla after stating the action taken in connection with the attack at Nadda's convoy. In another letter, the state government had spoken about its inability to release the three IPS officers.

It may be recalled that the Trinamool Congress had raised questions over presence of a "criminal" Rakesh Singh and several bikes and cars of BJP workers in the party's national president's convoy that was under the coverage of "Z" category security.

Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress on Thursday said the Bengal government will not release the three IPS officers on deputation following the diktat of the Centre and dared the BJP-led regime to impose President's Rule in the state.

The Centre's order in this regard is "unconstitutional and unacceptable", said senior TMC leader and Rural Development minister Subrata Mukherjee at a press conference.

Meanwhile, the state CRPF wrote to the DGP in connection to Union Home minister Amit Shah's security in a coordinated manner during his visit to the state.

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