Election Commission removes Bengal top cop Rajeev Kumar

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Kolkata, March 18 (IANS) The Election Commission on Monday ordered the removal of Rajeev Kumar from the chair of the acting Director General of West Bengal Police.

A communication on this count was sent to the office of the Chief Election Officer (CEO), West Bengal as well as the state secretariat. “The ECI has sought three alternative names of three senior IPS officials as replacement of Rajeev Kumar. The proposed names should reach the headquarters of the commission at New Delhi by 5 p.m. on Monday,” said an insider from the office of CEO, West Bengal.

He also said that besides removing Rajeev Kumar from the chair, the commission has also said that he cannot be involved in any election process for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Kumar was removed just within three months of his assuming the chair of the acting DGP.

To recall, Kumar's name had been dragged into controversy a number of times in the past. He came under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over the central agency’s investigation in the Saradha chit fund scam.

He was replaced as the-then commissioner of Kolkata Police twice by the Election Commission of India before the 2016 West Bengal Assembly elections. However, after the elections he was reinstated by the state government in that chair.

Sources said that during the recent visit of the top officials of the commission to West Bengal, almost all the opposition parties have complained against Kumar and accused him of not acting in a transparent manner.

After the information of his removal from the chair surfaced, the opposition parties welcomed the move. “Considering Kumar’s past records, his removal from the chair was inevitable. Even the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was aware of that. But still she appointed him probably keeping something in mind,” BJP Rajya Sabha member Samik Bhattacharya said.

“I have just a question for Rajiv Kumar, otherwise considered as an efficient police officer. What prompted him to stoop to such a level, that his image was tarnished again and again. But he did not seem to have learnt any lesson from it,” said CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty.