Mukherjee as Bengal police chief
Calcutta, Oct. 31: The Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) has appealed to governor M.K. Narayanan to hold back the appointment of former director-general of police Naparajit Mukherjee as a member of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission.
In a letter to Narayanan on Tuesday, the APDR has said it could move court after a week.
On Tuesday, the APDR had sent legal notices to six persons, including chief minister Mamata Banerjee, asking them to withdraw within seven days the recommendation to appoint Mukherjee.
“If the decision is not revoked, we will file a PIL in court arguing that appointing an IPS officer to a post reserved for a human rights activist under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, is illegal,” said Ranjit Sur of the APDR.
On October 21, Mamata had proposed Mukherjee’s name as a member of the commission and Speaker Biman Banerjee had cleared it.
Mukherjee is supposed to replace Sourin Roy, who will retire on November 15.
“There are several incidents of human rights violation during Mukherjee’s tenure. Being the head of the police administration, he did not implement several WBHRC recommendations,” Sur said.
The notice also mentioned the incidents of police firing in which five persons were killed during Mukherjee’s tenure as the state’s police chief.
Among others to receive the legal notice were Speaker, Leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra and home secretary Basudev Banerjee.
“Probes into the police firing are being conducted by inquiry committees. The WBHRC is also conducting investigation. How can Mukherjee be part of an organisation that is conducting a probe into his role as the chief of police administration,” Sur said.
The APDR also mentioned Mukherjee's role before the panchayat polls in Bengal.
“The election commission asked him to take action against Anubrata Mandal, the Trinamul leader in Birbhum, for his speech instigating party supporters to attack policemen with bombs. But Mukherjee did not take any action against Mandal,” Sur said mentioning the content of the legal notice.
The West Bengal Human Rights Commission is headed by Justice (retd) Asok Kumar Ganguly, who has made several recommendations that have embarrassed the government.
Naparajit Mukherjee is known to be close to the chief minister and sources said his appointment was significant, given Mamata’s uneasiness about Justice Ganguly.
“His (Mukherjee’s) appointment as a human rights commission member was made with the purpose of keeping a check on Justice Ganguly,” a source had said.