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Found: a cop scapegoat

Calcutta, Nov. 7: Mamata Banerjee today said the police operation in Birbhum’s Dubrajpur was planned “locally” and the top brass were kept in the dark.

“It was decided at the local level. Usually, the state police secretariat is informed. But there was no information. An administrative inquiry has been ordered. ADG (law and order) Surajit Kar Purakayastha is conducting the probe. The (Birbhum) police superintendent has been removed and asked to go on leave.”

Police sources, however, said the operation was not decided at the “local” level and SP Hrishikesh Meena had informed his superiors beforehand. The sources said both DIG Burdwan range Bashab Talukdar and IG western zone Gangeswar Singh, under whom Birbhum falls, had been informed by Meena a day before the operation.

“Meena had told his superiors that the raid was in accordance with a court order. The probable ramifications of the operation were also conveyed. According to protocol, the IG concerned is expected to convey the matter to DGP Naparajit Mukjerhee and ADG (law and order) Surajit Kar Purkayastha,” a source said.

It is not known whether that was done.

Talukdar said today: “The SP had informed me on Monday afternoon about the arrangements he had made for the raid…. I felt nothing was wrong as the intention was to restore the law of the land.”

Singh was not available for comment.

DGP Mukherjee refused comment.

The sources said Singh had instructed Meena to get a requisition — an official request from the party concerned, in this case DCV-Emta — that it needed police help to recover its property. Meena had done so, they said.