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Uncommon police transfer

- 16 Calcutta personnel’s tryst with Bengal after poll ‘mischief’

Calcutta, Aug. 31: Sixteen Calcutta police personnel have been transferred to Bengal police in an unprecedented move that government sources described as “punishment” for “unruly behaviour” while on panchayat poll duty last year.

The official reason was infusion of urban policing in the districts. The sources, however, said the move was initiated after some of these personnel were “found guilty” in departmental inquiries.

Friday’s transfer order was issued by the office of Bengal’s director-general of police. Calcutta police notified the order and informed the personnel about their new postings. The personnel will remain in their new posts “till further intimation”.

The 16 — two sub-inspectors and 14 constables and police drivers — have been sent to North and South Dinajpur, Darjeeling, East Midnapore, Murshidabad and North 24-Parganas.

According to rules, a change of cadre between Calcutta and Bengal police can be done only if personnel are sent on deputation.

A senior home department official, however, said: “There is a clause in the West Bengal Police Act that allows transfer of officers from Calcutta police to Bengal police and vice versa. In this case, as a matter of policy, we decided that rural Bengal needs a touch of urban policing. So we are sending some Calcutta police officers to the districts.”

There was no official explanation on why only those personnel “found guilty” of “making mischief” and “incitement” were selected for such a “mission”.

Senior police officers said that last year, some of the 16 personnel had allegedly refused initially to go to the districts on rural poll duty. Some had blocked roads to protest the delay in the arrival of vehicles that were to take them to polling stations.

The transfer process started around a month ago when their names were sent to the home department by Calcutta police, Nabanna sources said. “Following the home department’s sanction, the order was issued by the office of the director-general of police,” an officer posted in the police directorate said.

Senior IPS officers could not recall an earlier instance of personnel being shifted out of their “mother cadre” apparently as punishment.

“There had been one or two instances of transfers but, in those cases, the personnel concerned had made the request,” a Bengal police officer said.

The home department official said the transferred officers “would not lose anything financially”.

“If need be, they might be called back to the Calcutta police cadre. But, for the time being, they will be posted in the districts till further intimation,” he added.