EC Removes Diamond Harbour SDPO


Kolkata: The Election Commission on Thursday removed two more close aides of Mamata Banerjee with immediate effect. Diamond Harbour SDPO Mithun Kumar Dey and Amherst Street office in-charge Kaushik Das were today relieved by the poll panel over the recent Kolkata violence.

Former Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar reported for duty at the Home Ministry in Delhi today after the Election Commission relieved him as the additional director general of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in West Bengal. The poll commission’s move to attach him with the Home Ministry came after violence during a rally by BJP chief Amit Shah in Kolkata on Tuesday.

However, Mr Kumar reported for his new posting over two hours later than the time set by Election Commission, news agency IANS said. Rajeev Kumar reported to his supervising officer in the Ministry between 12 noon and 1 pm and then left, IANS said, quoting unnamed sources.

The agency had earlier said Mr Kumar had failed to show up to his new posting. Rajeev Kumar had earlier been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.

The Supreme Court will rule tomorrow on whether the agency can arrest him as the CBI has accused him of not cooperating with its investigation. Along with Mr Kumar, the Election Commission had also removed West Bengal’s Principal Secretary, Home, Atri Bhattacharya for “having interfered” in the poll process and curtailed the poll campaign in the state by a day. Campaigning will now have to end on 10 pm on Thursday for the remaining nine Lok Sabha constituencies going to the polls on May 19.

The Election Commission took the decision, as it invoked – for the first time – Article 324 of the constitution which gives it special powers to control and give directions for holding elections.

According to the poll body, the decisions were taken “as an action on violence in West Bengal on Tuesday” during a roadshow conducted by BJP president Amit Shah. The violence had also led to the vandalism of a statue of Bengal renaissance icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. But the election body in its order did not mention why Mr Kumar was relieved from the CID.