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Stay-back tug for shunted top cop
Juniors pull rope tied to boss’s car

Siliguri, Dec. 1: A group of policemen fastened a rope to the back of the SUV their just-shunted boss K. Jayaraman was to board and tried to pull it back in a symbolic gesture to show that 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 the closed-door farewell, Jayaraman came out, spoke to the waiting media and left for his residence.

When he was about to leave, a group of five policemen fastened a rope to the back of Jayaraman’s vehicle. They asked the driver to put the gear in neutral and then pulled the vehicle backwards. It lasted only for a minute or so, after which the SUV left the campus.

“It was a rare act by the subordinates today. It is a symbolic gesture and a mark of respectful appreciation for the senior officer to prove that they want him to stay back,” a police officer said.

In the mid-nineties, then 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. After that, his juniors accompanied his car, 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 to Jayaraman sir,” the officer said.

The commissioner, who was probing the case, today said he had no regrets about the action taken. What he had done was in the interest of public service.

“Our transfers are done on a routine basis but this transfer has been done on a specific issue. I have been posted as officer in compulsory waiting and thus 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. “What I feel is that whatever I have done is 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 SJDA funds misappropriation case, Jayaraman said: “The investigation is done by the investigating officers. They will surely do the investigation in the manner they feel appropriate. There is no reason for any inconvenience on their part as nobody is interfering with investigation. Otherwise, this arrest (of DM Kumar) would not have been possible.”

The officer, who had earlier served as additional superintendent of police in Siliguri, thanked residents of the town.

“I thank Siliguri residents for the opportunity I got to work with them twice in my career. Such transfers are routine for us and there is always a chance that in my career, I might again get a posting here. We will then meet again,” he said.

In the morning, Jayaraman was given a hearty farewell by officers and police personnel of the commissionerate. Jayaraman handed over charge to DIG (Jalpaiguri range) Jawed Shamim yesterday. He left for Calcutta this evening.

Some of Jayaraman’s juniors were in tears.

At the commissionerate, around 50 officers and policemen assembled to see him off.

The DYFI and the SFI organised marches in Siliguri to protest Jayaraman’s transfer.

blow by blow

The case: Of misappropriation of government money in making three electric crematoriums, two sewerage treatment plants, a project for cleaning the rivulet Jorapani, and for installation of CCTV cameras. Around Rs 100 crore was allegedly disbursed for all projects before work was started. The projects were sanctioned in 2011 and are yet to be completed

March 4, 2013: G Kiran Kumar transferred as Malda DM from post of SJDA chief executive officer

March 14: Siliguri Trinamul MLA Rudranath Bhattacharya removed as SJDA chairman

May 16: Sharad Dwivedi, Kumar’s successor in SJDA, files police complaint alleging misappropriation of government funds

May-June: Four SJDA engineers, a private contractor and three persons representing companies that got contracts held

July 5: Police interrogate Kumar in Malda

Aug. 5-8: Police question Rudranath, SJDA board member Chandan Bhowmik
and Ranjan Silsharma, both Trinamul leaders. Congress Darjeeling district president Shankar Malakar, also a SJDA board member, quizzed

Nov. 29-30: Kumar interrogated in Siliguri, then arrested and produced in court. Court orders four-day police custody.

Nov. 30: K. Jayaraman, Siliguri Metropolitan Police commissioner removed from post

Dec. 1: Kumar gets bail