In a strong signal to state administration in West Bengal, Election Commission on Tuesday removed Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar from his post. The election watchdog decided to act against Rajeev Kumar following complaints major opposition political parties.
“The Kolkata Police Commissioner is removed from his post. ADG (CID) Soumen Mitra will replace him,” an EC source said.
EC sources had earlier said that the issue was under its consideration amid demands by opposition parties in the state for removal of Kumar.
Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena had said a decision of the issue would be conveyed to the media by the Commission “at an appropriate time.”
The poll panel today wrote a letter to West Bengal Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee, asking him to act on this issue.
The ADG (CID) Soumen Mitra has been asked to take over as the new Commissioner of Police in Kolkata Police, EC sources said.
Confirming the development, state Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee told PTI, “Yes, Rajeev Kumar is being replaced by the ADG (CID) Soumen Mitra.”
The BJP and Congress had recently moved the EC seeking removal of Kumar alleging that he was close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and accused him of “snooping” on opposition leaders, bureaucrats and journalists.
The BJP had complained to the EC after an alleged failed sting operation against the party’s national secretary and former state president Rahul Sinha late last month. Two Kolkata Police personnel had allegedly tried to bribe Sinha in return for help to smuggle out cows to Bangladesh.
Sinha had alleged that it was a conspiracy by the TMC government to trap BJP leaders in the sting operation before the Assembly polls and demanded a CBI probe.
Kumar was appointed as Kolkata Police Commissioner in January.