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Sudhakar ‘plum’ post raises eyebrows

Calcutta, Jan. 30: IPS officer C. Sudhakar has been made the deputy commissioner of the Barrackpore commissionerate’s detective department, six days after he was removed as the Birbhum police chief and put on compulsory waiting apparently because of his inept handling of the Labhpur rape case.

Several police officers questioned the move to give Sudhakar a “plum” posting so soon at a time K. Jayaraman, who was removed as the Siliguri police commissioner in November, is still on compulsory waiting.

The action against Jayaraman was taken after he arrested then Malda district magistrate G. Kiran Kumar for alleged involvement in funds misuse when the latter was the CEO of the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority.

Sources in the home department said the decision to “rehabilitate” Sudhakar was taken “at the highest level”.

A section of police officers said the move would “demoralise” the force as the alleged Birbhum gang rape and the Sudhakar-led district police’s actions in its aftermath had dented the government’s image much more than the steps taken by Jayaraman, who had “done his duty”.

“It is surprising to see an officer getting a plum post even after being removed for mishandling a case while another is kept on compulsory waiting because he did his duty by arresting an accused,” a senior police officer said.

Sudhakar had invited the chief minister’s displeasure by not directing the force to seek custody of the 13 accused arrested for the alleged gang rape. The order giving him the new posting was issued on Wednesday.

IPS officers said the post of the Barrackpore DC DD was among the “most sought after” because of the challenges the job involved and the area’s proximity to Calcutta.

“Being the crime wing chief of Barrackpore police is challenging and prestigious. It is the most densely populated of the six commissionerates in Bengal. Besides, Barrackpore is close to Calcutta. Barrackpore has both urban and rural clusters. The area is crime-prone and offers a lot of scope to perform,” said a senior IPS officer who has earlier served in the Barrackpore commissionerate.

Around 22 lakh people live in the area under the jurisdiction of the Barrackpore commissionerate. Sources said the crime rate in the area was the highest among all six commissionerates.