Kolkata: 79 Police Officers Transferred within 24 Hours

By: Sashwata Saha
28 Nov 2020 4:45:02 PM West Bengal

In an online notification released on multiple platforms, the Kolkata Police announced a major reshuffle with the transfer of at least 79 officers. This is the second major reshuffling of police personnel in the state, this year, with the last one seeing in January witnessing 68 transfers.


The government on Thursday morning changed the portfolios of 15 senior officers in the metropolitan police. It followed that up on Friday evening by issuing orders for the reshuffle of 64 West Bengal Police Service (WBPS) officers. 


Some of the prominent local transfers include that of Santanu Sinha Biswas, the Officer-in-Charge of the Kalighat police station (under whose jurisdiction Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's residence falls) to the Special Branch and Debasis Dutta’s transfer from being the OC of the Entally station to that of Burtolla in the North Division. Dutta came to the spotlight after India Today dubbed him the ‘singing cop’ based on his attempts to disperse crowds at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown by belting out chart-busters.


Among other changes, the Additional OC of the Parnasree police station, who was involved in managing the anti-CAA protests in the last December and January was moved to Ballygunge station.


Prominent names who have been moved out of the city consist of Sanjay Singh, ADG and IGP who has been posted in the same capacity to the Western Zone, while Rajeev Mishra, who has been holding the position till now has been posted as the ADG and IG to the city.


The government has also created a new post of IGP at the Bankura range, one of the districts which have seen an increase in tribal violence since 2015, and has assigned R Rajasekaran to the post. He had earlier held the positions of IGP (Traffic and Safety) in North Bengal.   


While the government is maintaining that the reorganisation is part of routine orders to clear the pending promotions and other transfers, a senior WBPS officer on condition of anonymity said the move is significant, particularly the transfer of experienced officers, as multiple civic bodies, as well as the State Assembly elections, are due in the state in March and April. 


A senior bureaucrat on condition of anonymity called the order a “preparation for holding urban local bodies elections”. Of the 126 civic bodies in the state, 110 including the Kolkata Municipal Corporation which were likely to go to polls in March or April but were cancelled due to the pandemic. The High Court extended the KMC’s term to December. The polls are set to begin mid-January 2021.  


West Bengal has around 256 IPS officers serving with the state government. Apart from them, 13 are on central deputation and 11 are under training at the Hyderabad Police Academy, a senior police official said. The state has a sanctioned strength of 347 officers.


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