Centre Tells Bengal Government to Take Disciplinary Action against Kolkata Police Commissioner

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West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee

NEW DELHI (IANS)– Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar faces fresh problems with the Centre on Tuesday asking the West Bengal government to initiate disciplinary proceedings against him for participating in a street protest with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, an action that comes on top of an unprecedented stand-off between the two governments for the last three days.

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sources said a letter has been written to the West Bengal Chief Secretary to initiate action against the 1989-batch IPS officer citing “indisciplined behaviour and violation of All India Services (Conduct) Rules 1968/AIS (Discipline and Appeal), Rules 1969 by the officer”.

On Sunday, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team that went to question Kumar at his residence in the Saradha chit fund case was allegedly roughed up and detained by the Kolkata Police, triggering a political slugfest between the Centre and the West Bengal government-led by Banerjee. The issue also reached the Supreme Court which has asked Kumar to appear before the CBI in Shillong, a neutral venue. 

The Centre’s letter dated February 5 mentions that as per information received by the MHA, Kumar sat on a dharna (protest) along with some police officers with the Chief Minister at the Metro Channel in Kolkata “which is prima facie in contravention of the extant provisions of a AIS (Conduct) rules, 1968/AIS (Discipline and Appeal), Rules 1969”.

The MHA communication cited service conduct rules which were reportedly flouted by Kumar, including that every member of the service shall maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty at all times and shall do nothing which is unbecoming of the service. 

Another rule cited by the communication is that no member of the service shall be a member of or be otherwise associated with any political party or any organisation which takes part in politics, nor assists any political movement or a party. 

Under the rules cited, the officer cannot also communicate criticism of government through the media which is capable of embarrassing the relations between the Centre and the state. 

“In view of the above, the West Bengal government has been requested by the MHA to initiate action against the officer and intimate the action taken in this regard,” it said. 

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