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In strongly-worded letter to EC, Mamata Banerjee calls its move to transfer top cops 'biased'

In a major shakeup within the state police establishment, the EC on Friday night removed Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma and Bidhannagar Police Commissioner Gyanwant Singh in view of the poll preparedness.   

In strongly-worded letter to EC, Mamata Banerjee calls its move to transfer top cops 'biased'

KOLKATA: In a strongly-worded letter to the Election Commission of India, West Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee Saturday questioned the decision to transfer Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma and Bidhannagar Police Commissioner Gyanwant Singh ahead of the Lok Sabha Election 2019.

In a major shakeup within the state police establishment, the EC on Friday night removed Sharma and Singh in view of the poll preparedness. 

Reacting to the transfers, Banerjee questioned the poll body's “biased nature” and termed its decision “arbitrary”. The letter is expected to reach the Election Commission on Saturday.

EC's move came days after state BJP leaders alleged that free and fair elections would not be possible in West Bengal under the officers. Both Sharma and Singh were spotted at Banerjee's dharna in February 2019 to protest CBI's action against the then Kolkata police commissioner in connection with its probe in the Saradha scam. 

The commission appointed Dr Rajesh Kumar, Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Pollution Control Board, as the new Kolkata Police Commissioner, while Natarajan Ramesh Babu, ADG and IGP, Operations, will be the Bidhannagar police commissioner.

In a notice to West Bengal Chief Secretary Malay Dey, the EC directed immediate implementation of the orders and sought a compliance report in respect to the joining of the transferred officers within 24 hours. The commission also directed that the present incumbent officers being shifted should not be involved by the state government in any election-related duty. 

The EC also named Avannu Ravindranath, DC (Airport Division) of Bidhannagar, as the new superintendent of police (SP) of Birbhum and appointed Srihari Pandey, DC KAP, 3rd Battalion, as the SP of Diamond Harbour.