Calcutta, Sept. 9: Three IPS officers are apparently being considered for the post of director-general of police as Naparajit Mukherjee retires on September 30.
Sources said those being considered were G.M.P. Reddy, director-general (intelligence branch); Vijoy Kumar, DG (enforcement); and B.D. Sharma, ADG (BSF).
Bengal now has eight DGs. Three officers of the same rank are under central deputation. “The most important factor in the selection will be how comfortable the chief minister is (with the chosen officer),” a senior home department official said.
The final decision is expected to be taken in a week or two, sources said.
The sources said initially, it was a toss between Reddy and Sharma, whose rank is that of a DG, as the chief minister had considered their candidature. Kumar apparently entered the fray because of his seniority.
According to a Supreme Court directive, a DGP has to be chosen from among the three senior-most IPS officers serving in the state. Kumar became a last-minute entrant because of this.
The three senior-most IPS officers serving in Bengal are Sharma; Sushant Bhattacharya, officer on special duty (West Bengal police directorate); and Dilip Mitra, DGP (training). When the names of the three were placed before the chief minister in the first week of August, Bhattacharya and Mitra were ticked off, sources said.
Sources in the home department said the search for the “ideal DGP” had begun a few months ago with the chief minister expressing her wish to appoint Sharma.
“Sharma has served in Bengal in several key positions and is believed to have a fair deal of understanding of policing and politics in the state. The chief minister has a high opinion of him,” an official in the chief minister’s secretariat said.
“But her preference appears to have tilted towards Reddy since the problems in Darjeeling restarted.”
“Reddy seems to be the front-runner as of now as she (Mamata Banerjee) appears to be happy with the way he is handling the situation in the hills. Apart from intelligence inputs, she also gave Reddy tasks to test his mettle as an administrator — a quality a DGP should have,” a bureaucrat said.