The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dash to Delhi, skipping show

Oct. 9: Prasun Mukherjee, whose continuation as police commissioner is in doubt after his force interfered in the marriage of consenting adults, today met the CBI director in New Delhi during an unscheduled visit.

Mukherjee, who left Calcutta on Tuesday morning, was with CBI chief Vijay Shankar for almost 40 minutes, sources said in Delhi.

“Mukherjee paid a courtesy call at my North Block office,” the CBI director told The Telegraph in response to a question.

The sources said Mukherjee did discuss “details” of the Rizwanur Rahman case but added that they did not know why he did so.

While Mukherjee was paying the “courtesy visit”, the Bengal government was putting up a spirited fight in Calcutta High Court against a CBI probe into Rizwanur’s death.

Asked whether the issue was discussed at their meeting, Shankar said: “There is no question of handing over the case to the CBI. The case is in the high court and that is a very esteemed institution.”

Other sources in Calcutta said one reason for the police chief to make the unscheduled visit could be that he was exploring the possibility of going on deputation to the central agency if he is removed from the commissioner’s post.

The sources in Calcutta said Mukherjee was “close to” Shankar. Mukherjee is not up for promotion — to the rank of director general — till April 1, 2008. If Mukherjee is removed from the coveted berth and given a posting in state police, it would amount to him being “shunted out”.

However, a post with the CBI will spare him the embarrassment of serving in the state after the uproar over the Rizwanur case.

A source said Mukherjee might also have met the director of the intelligence bureau in Delhi. However, it could not be confirmed with the other sources.

A Calcutta police officer said Mukherjee was “extremely upset” at the manner in which his two deputies, Ajoy Kumar and Gyanwant Singh, were questioned by the CID.

So unplanned was Mukherjee’s trip — the sources said he was not expected to spend the night in the capital — that he missed a signature event in the Calcutta police calendar.

The Calcutta Police Guide-Map, the Puja ready-reckoner usually unveiled by the police commissioner, was released by additional commissioner Subrata Narayan Sarkar.

The entire police brass were present but for three — Mukherjee, Gyanwant Singh and Ajoy Kumar — though the invitation card was in the commissioner’s name.

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