Updated December 27th, 2023 at 23:05 IST
Who is Rajeev Kumar, the controversial new DGP of West Bengal?
Rajeev Kumar, previously the Police Commissioner for Kolkata, has now been elected to take the top law enforcement job in the state, replacing Manoj Malviya.
KOLKATA: On Wednesday, the state of West Bengal appointed former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar as the new Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG and IGP), replacing Manoj Malviya who has now been appointed as an advisor to the police for the next three years. Kumar is a computer engineering graduate of IIT-Roorkee who is reportedly known for introducing modern crime detection methods to the Kolkata Police via the use of drones, security cameras and tracking devices.
Kumar, who is presently serving as the principal secretary of the Information and Technology Department, is ready to immediately take on his new role according to an official statement. According to a PTI report, however, his elevation to the top law enforcement job in the state has sparked a debate between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition.
Saradha scam investigation
A 1989-batch IPS officer, Kumar previously served as the Additional Director General of the state's Criminal Investigation Department. He has, however, faced allegations from the CBI that he was involved in the suppression and destruction of evidence relating to the investigation of the Saradha chit fund scam that first surfaced in 2013. The CBI, which was handed over the case to investigate by the Supreme Court in 2014, attempted to question Kumar in relation to the case in 2019.
Kumar at the time was the Commissioner of Police for Kolkata and when the CBI team attempted to question him, they were allegedly stopped by state policemen. This led to the breakout of a larger political showdown in which state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee staged a dharna and accused the Centre of utilising central agencies against opposition parties.
Now, even as TMC leaders defend his new appointment, certain opposition figures in West Bengal have questioned this development in relation to the Saradha Scam investigation. In a PTI report, the Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, was quoted as saying “We all know the role Rajeev Kumar has played during the Saradha chit fund scam. How the investigation was tampered with in a way that the TMC leaders can get away. Today Rajeev Kumar has been rewarded.”
Published December 27th, 2023 at 23:05 IST