Calcutta, Nov. 3: Traffic sergeant Rajat Krishan was back at Eden Gardens today.
Three days after he was removed from duty at the Eden for stopping the car of the municipal affairs minister, Asok Bhattacharya, as it did not have the mandatory green sticker, the young policeman was manning the High Court-end gates of the ground.
Last night, a message from traffic control reached Krishan’s Barasat Road house, asking him to report for duty at the Eden for the final day of the Test match, completing a circle as the incident — when Bhattacharya had to walk about 50 yards to the gate after being stopped — had taken place on the first day. Never mind that it occurred at the opposite, Club House-end.
Sources said chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee intervened after the report that Krishan had been taken off Eden Gardens.
As Krishan patrolled Auckland Place and Khudiram Bose Sarani, police officers explained that it was the prerogative of the officer in charge of the area to position him on any stretch of road around Eden Gardens. A couple of times, he was sighted near the Club House, too.
Officially, police authorities insisted that Krishan went off and returned to duty at the Eden as a matter of routine.
“He is on a rotational shift,” said M.K. Singh, the deputy commissioner of police, traffic.
“It was his day for duty on Sunday. He reported in the morning and the section officer put him on the Auckland Road stretch,’’ he said.
In private, police officers admitted that there was pressure from “the top” to bring Krishan back from the Shyambazar traffic guard, to which he belongs and where he had been sent away on Thursday.
Confirming that he was on duty at the Eden, Krishan would merely say that as a police officer he would always try and perform his responsibilities to the best of his ability.
Sources said Singh, too, had taken the initiative yesterday after the fourth day’s play to reinstate Krishan on getting the green signal from the top.
“Singh had a word of encouragement for Krishan in the morning when officers gathered for a briefing an hour before the start of play,’’ a senior officer in charge of traffic guard said.
The sources said Krishan’s colleagues congratulated him in private for the “good work”. More than that, there was a sigh of relief in the police force whose morale would have been battered had Krishan been grounded.
“We just hope that he is not victimised later on when the issue dies a natural death. Nonetheless, the gesture to bring back Krishan for duty at Eden Gardens has sent a positive signal to the force,” an officer said.
Thanks are due, but where we don’t know. Is it to the chief minister' A day after the incident, The Telegraph (see right) had appealed to Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to ensure that Krishan was not victimised for doing his duty.