The post R.K. Pachnanda has refused to join has been handed back to Virendra but the former police commissioner is without a post for now.
Pachnanda was asked to replace Virendra as director of security after he was shifted out of Lalbazar but he declined to accept the assignment and went on leave.
The government order handing Virendra his old post is, however, silent on Pachnanda, who has been on two months’ leave since being removed from the top cop’s post on February 14 following the Garden Reach flare-up.
Last week, the police establishment board had apparently decided to appoint Pachnanda as additional director-general (armed police). Sources in the home department said the order on Pachnanda’s posting could not be issued on Tuesday as he is to replace K.L. Tamta, who is to take over as additional director-general (counter insurgency force), a post that needs to be upgraded from inspector-general.
“It takes a day to upgrade a post. Pachnanda’s order will be issued as soon as the procedure to upgrade the post of IG CIF to ADG CIF is complete,” said a home department official. That might happen as soon as Wednesday.
Pachnanda apparently earned the wrath of chief minister Mamata Banerjee after he ordered his force to arrest “anyone irrespective of party colour” involved in the violence outside Harimohan Ghose College in Garden Reach that claimed the life of sub-inspector Tapas Chowdhury on February 12.
Pachnanda and his core team had refused to toe the party — and government — line not to name Trinamul councillor Mohammad Iqbal (Munna) — known for his proximity to minister Firhad Hakim — as an accused. But the FIR nailed Munna, who is now in police custody.
This allegedly cost Pachnanda his job and triggered his next posting as director of security, which was seen in IPS circles as a way to “humiliate” the sacked top cop.
The 1983-batch IPS officer then applied for central deputation, citing his mother’s illness. Sources in the state home department said the application is “in queue”.
“Many IPS officers have applied for central deputation. Nothing has been decided yet on Pachnanda’s application,” a home department official said.
A senior IPS officer pointed out that Pachnanda for now was “post-less”. “An officer has to be either posted somewhere or declared officer on compulsory waiting for him to draw his salary,” he warned.