Mamata Banerjee govt 'reaffirms' stance on three IPS officers
The Mamata Banerjee government on Friday “reaffirmed” its stance that three IPS officers who were put on central deputation by the ministry of home affairs wouldn’t be released.
The state iterated its stand during a video conference held between Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla and senior Bengal government officials on Friday evening.
“The state government has made it clear that the three IPS officers would not be released as they are working well in the state. The state reaffirmed its stance when the Union home secretary raised the issue during the video conference,” said a senior state government official present at the meeting.
On Thursday, the Union home ministry had sent a letter to the chief secretary, Alapan Bandyopadhyay, to release the officers immediately informing that the trio had been assigned new responsibilities at the Centre.
The Centre told the state that Bholanath Pandey (SP, Diamond Harbour police district) would be posted as SP, Bureau of Police Research and Development, Rajeev Mishra (ADG, south Bengal) as IG, ITBP, and Praveen Tripathi (DIG, Presidency Range) as DIG of the Sashastra Seema Bal as soon as the state released them.
“As it was clear that they were being punished for the attack on BJP national president J. P. Nadda’s convoy to put pressure on the All India service officers working in Bengal, the state made it clear that the officers would not be released. The situation did not change overnight. So, the MHA was once again made aware of the state’s decision,” said another official.
Senior government officials also pointed out that the state would now wait for the Centre’s response as the provision of the Indian Police Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954 — based on which the MHA issued the posting orders of the officers — did not spell clearly whether the Centre could go ahead with the positing of the officers even if the state refuses to give clearance.
Sources said that the provision was added in the cadre rules in 1986 and it was never implemented in the country since then. So, it is still not clear how far the Centre would go without the state’s NoC.
“If the MHA seeks NoC from the state repeatedly, that means the state has a role to play. In such a situation, the state would wait for the next move of the Centre,” said a source. “If the Centre moves court alleging state was not releasing the officers despite the provision in the cadre rules, the state would fight the legal battle.”
During the video conference, the MHA has laid stress on better cooperation between the central agencies and the state police in arranging security for protectees visiting the state.
The video conference was held after the chief secretary and the director general of police had requested the MHA to dispense with the state officials to be present at a meeting in the North Block, New Delhi.
Sources in the Union home ministry said areas of cooperation between central agencies and state government administration during VIPs visit were discussed during the meeting between Union home secretary and Bengal chief secretary.
“Besides, home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla took note of the political violence in Bengal from the state government officials over video conferencing this evening. He also asked the state government officials about the steps taken to control the situation, " said a ministry official.