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Boot for firing officers
Committee wants police ‘punished’

Oct. 31: Two police officers who had ordered the March 14 firing in Nandigram were today shunted out of East Midnapore.

District superintendent G.A. Srinivas has been made commandant of 10th battalion of the State Armed Police.

Haldia additional superintendent Tanmoy Roychowdhury will be the new additional SP, telecom.

Tamluk additional superintendent Debashish Boral has been made the additional SP, Hooghly.

“We have transferred the officers for administrative reasons,” home secretary Prasad Ranjan Ray said.

Asked if it was in response to demands made by the Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee, he said: “I would say, in this case, their demands have coincided with what the government wants.”

Two other police officers against whom the committee had demanded action were western range inspector-general Arun Gupta and Midnapore range deputy inspector-general N. Ramesh Babu.

Birbhum police chief S.S. Panda will take over as the East Midnapore superintendent, while additional SP (telecom) R.N. Sarkar will be the new Tamluk additional SP.

Bidhannagar subdivisional police officer Prasun Mukherjee will be the new Haldia additional superintendent.

“The order doesn’t say why I’m being transferred. I will hand over charge tomorrow,” said Srinivas, the East Midnapore SP since February 13.

The government had earlier conceded the committee’s demand for damages to the families of those killed on March 14. It is also considering pulling Nandigram out of the purview of the Haldia Development Authority.

However, in Nandigram, the committee’s leaders didn’t think that the transfers were a step towards meeting their demands. “We had demanded their punishment. We believe that the transfers are in no way connected with the March 14 firing,” said Abu Taher.

Senior police officers said director-general of police A.B. Vohra had ordered a probe against Srinivas following allegations that he had demanded money to get “mafioso” B. Rambabu released from jail. The Kharagpur-based scrap dealer had been arrested for allegedly killing a former CPI MP’s son, Goutam Chowbey.

Kharagpur subdivisional police officer Gourav Sharma and inspector-in-charge Afzar Ali Mollah today met Rambabu’s mother Kamala Bai.

“It was regarding an inquiry,” Sharma said.

However, Kamala, told reporters that Sharma met her regarding allegations of Srinivas demanding money and his alleged attempt to forcibly get close to her daughter-in-law.

“I told the SDPO about the demand for money. I also said the complaint against Srinivas relating to my daughter-in-law is baseless,” she said.

There was exchange of fire along the Nandigram-Khejuri border at Takapura, Ranichowk and Satengabari in the morning and late in the night.

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