|K Jayaraman leaves the commissionerate on Sunday. Picture by Kundan Yolmo
Siliguri, Dec. 1: A group of policemen today tied a rope to the back of the car K. Jayaraman was to board and tried to pull it back in a symbolic gesture to show the force did not want the Siliguri Metropolitan Police commissioner to leave.
Jayaraman has been put on compulsory waiting after yesterday’s arrest of Malda district magistrate G. Kiran Kumar on the charge of misappropriation of government funds in the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA).
After a closed-door farewell today, Jayaraman came out, spoke to the waiting media and left for his residence. He left for Calcutta in the evening.
When he boarded the car to leave for his residence, five police personnel fastened a rope to the back of the vehicle and asked the driver to put the SUV in neutral mode. They then pulled the vehicle backwards for about a minute, after which Jayaraman left.
Some of Jayaraman’s subordinates could not hold back tears.
“It was a rare act by the subordinates today. It was a symbolic gesture and a mark of respect for the senior officer to prove that they want him to stay,” a police officer said.
In the mid-nineties, Darjeeling superintendent of police A.K. Maliwal was accorded a similar honour by juniors when he was transferred. His car was first pulled back using a rope and then his subordinates accompanied the vehicle, pushing it all the way to his residence.
Maliwal’s transfer, though, was a routine one, with no air of controversy around it.
“Since then, many officers have come and gone in Darjeeling district. But again today, the gesture was exhibited to show respect for Jayaraman sir,” the officer said.
Jayaraman today asserted that his decision to arrest the Malda DM was “right”.
“Our transfers are done on a routine basis. But this transfer has been done on a specific issue. I have been posted as an officer in compulsory waiting and so I am moving out. I have already handed over charge and will leave Siliguri. I have nothing to say on the transfer,” the senior IPS officer said.
He added: “What I feel is that whatever I have done, I have done in the interest of public service. I feel that I have done right. If there is something, I will clarify (to superiors).”
Asked about the probe into the misappropriation of SJDA funds, Jayaraman said: “The investigation is done by the investigating officers. They will surely do the investigation in a manner they feel appropriate. There is no reason for any inconvenience on their part as nobody is interfering with the investigation. Otherwise, this arrest (of Kumar) would not have been possible.”
Jayaraman, who had earlier served as additional superintendent of police in Siliguri, thanked residents today.
“I thank Siliguri residents. I got the opportunity to work with them twice in my career. Such transfers are routine for us and there is always a chance that I might again get a posting here. We will then meet again,” he said.
Jayaraman had yesterday handed over charge to DIG (Jalpaiguri range) Jawed Shamim.
At the commissionerate, around 50 officers and policemen assembled to see him off.
Several rallies were organised in Siliguri town today to protest Jayaraman’s transfer. The DYFI and the SFI shouted slogans against the state government. Workers of the Darjeeling district Youth Congress walked with posters of Jayaraman demanding that his transfer be revoked.