Sir —The government has claimed that the transfer of Damayanti Sen, the former joint commissioner of police (crime), was a routine affair (“60 IPS officers shuffled in state”, April 5). But the people are not ready to buy this argument. Given Sen’s painstaking efforts to achieve a breakthrough in the Park Street rape case — Mamata Banerjee claimed that the incident had been concocted to malign her government — she should have been allowed to continue in her present position till the investigation was completed. But Sen has now been transferred to a less important post. This will certainly hamper the investigation. Seeing Sen’s fate, her successor will not dare to pursue the case any further. The chief minister took this decision deliberately to defy public sentiment as well as a section of the media that has been highly critical of some of her activities and illogical utterances. The step clearly reflects her egotistical attitude.
It may be pointed out that during the Left Front regime, Prasun Mukherjee, the former commissioner of police, had to relinquish his post under pressure from the public and the media after he made certain unfortunate remarks concerning Rizwanur Rahman’s death. Incidentally, Mamata Banerjee who was then in the Opposition had lent her support to the demand to remove Mukherjee.
There would have been some consolation if Sen had been transferred to a more challenging post. It would have meant that her skills and efficiency as a police officer have been recognized. But her present posting — deputy inspector general (training) at the police college in Barrackpore — will send the wrong signal to the people. Citizens will now think that she has been transferred to a position of lesser consequence as she proved the chief minister wrong in the Park Street incident.
Ujjal. K. Pal, Calcutta
Sir — The transfer of Damayanti Sen from the high profile crime branch to an insignificant assignment reveals, once again, the arrogance and vindictiveness of Mamata Banerjee. Banerjee put her foot in her mouth by alleging that the Park Street rape had been concocted even before the police could complete the investigation. It was to Sen’s credit that she pursued the case vigorously and brought the guilty to book.This courage shown by Sen was possibly disliked by the chief minister, who seems to be surrounded by sycophants who always agree with her views. This is a pathetic situation for Bengal. The state will be deprived of the services of honest and courageous officers in any field. This will spell doom for Bengal. In less than a year, the Mamata Banerjee government has ruined the hopes and aspirations of the people who had voted her party to power. There is still time for her to take corrective steps to save the situation. Otherwise, in another four years, she and her party will be shown the door by the same people.
Kalyan Ghosh, Calcutta
Sir — Why is such a hue and cry being raised over the banishing of a few dailies in government-aided libraries and the transfer of Damayanti Sen? We must remember that our democracy is not so fragile that it will falter as a result of the ban on a few newspapers.
The media have the right to criticize the government for implementing wrong policies. But when such criticism crosses the limits of decency, the media become a tool in the hands of the Opposition. Consequently, they become a laughing stock and lose their credibility.
True, Damayanti Sen discharged her responsibilities creditably as joint commissioner (crime). But it is an established fact that IPS officers have to work under certain constraints. Pressure is often exerted on them by the party in power. Sen’s case was no exception. It may be true that Sen has attracted the chief minister’s ire and has been removed from her post. But that is the way of life for IPS officers. Incidentally, a discussion organized by one of the television channels featuring eminent personalities was welcome. But such an event is not going to restore Sen to her post. Mamata Banerjee’s popularity is on the wane. But the media must not throw brickbats in her direction constantly. Why not leave the electorate to decide her fate?
Basudeb Bhattacharya, Calcutta