Ever since the Modi government rose to power in 2014, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is engaged in a turf war of sorts with the Central government as she is under the false assumption that the state of West Bengal is her personal fiefdom with the sole purpose of the WB Police to serve at the beck and call of Mamata and her interests. After the attack on BJP President JP Nadda’s convoy allegedly by TMC workers, the three IPS officers who were tasked with Nadda’s security had been called for Central deputation by the Ministry of Home Affairs, to which Mamata Banerjee is fighting tooth and nail to prevent that from happening.
A second time in two weeks, the Central government has asked the West Bengal to relieve the three IPS officers for Central deputation, which the Mamata government is refusing to do so.
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The three officer who were tasked with Nadda’s security were namely, Bholanath Pandey who has been appointed as SP in the Bureau of Police Research and Development, Pravin Kumar Tripathi who has been appointed as DIG in Sashastra Seema Bal, and Rajiv Mishra who has been appointed as IG in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.
In a letter written by the MHA, the state DGP and chief secretary have been apprised of the aforementioned appointments and asked the officers to be relieved immediately.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee took to Twitter to cry foul over the central deputation of the three officers. In a series of tweets, Mamata said, “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.”
She added, “This act is nothing but a deliberate attempt to encroach upon State’s jurisdiction & demoralise the serving officers in WB. This move, particularly before the elections is against the basic tenets of the federal structure. It’s unconstitutional & completely unacceptable!”
She concluded by stating, “West Bengal is not going to cow-down in front of expansionist undemocratic forces.”
While the rulebook states that the IPS officers are sent on deputation to the Centre with the state’s consent, however, as per Rule 6 of the IPS Cadre Rules, 1954 if the Centre and state were to disagree over an officer’s deputation, the Centre’s will would prevail.
This is not the first time Mamata is refusing to comply as earlier West Bengal Police detained CBI Officers upon their arrival in Kolkata to probe the Sarada Chit fund case in which former Kolkata Commissioner and Mamata’s favourite, Rajeev Kumar, is alleged to be involved. Mamata pulled out all stops including sitting on a dharna to prevent any coercive action against Rajeev Kumar.
Mamata considers WB Police as her personal protection force to be deployed against her political opponents which is evident from how former TMC MLA Suvendu Adhikari fearing vendetta politics that he maybe implicated “in false criminal cases out of political motivation and vendetta,” due to his rebellion, has written to West Bengal Governor Dhankar apprising him of the same. This time around, Mamata will yet again be on the wrong side of the rule if doesn’t comply with the orders of the MHA and relieves the officers.
The BJP at the Centre has sent a strong message to Mamata Banerjee and WB Police that the state’s police can’t be used for her personal whims and fancies and WB Police is here for the protection of the people and maintain law and order of the state.