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Criminal charges against West Bengal chief Mamata Banerjee

Director-general complains of being denied promotion and harassment after relationship turned sour

Gulf News

Kolkata: One of the most senior police officers in West Bengal, Dr Nazrul Islam, has lodged a criminal complaint against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and two senior most bureaucrats of the state, chief secretary Sanjay Mitra and the home secretary Basudeb Banerjee.

Islam, who is Additional Director-General (Provisioning), submitted a 65-page letter of complaint to the Hare Street police station in Kolkata on August 17 urging the police to accept it as his First-Investigation-Report (FIR), where he has charged Banerjee and other bureaucrats of causing “criminal intimidation, causing mental agony, denying promotion, disallowing leave and bugging communication lines and causing criminal intimidation to his family members.”

On August 19, in another letter, he sought from the police what action had been initiated against his complaint and which sections of the Indian Penal Code and The Code of Criminal Procedure had been evoked against those accused.

The letter has caused a furore within the police department as it is an unprecedented move for a police officer to file an FIR against the chief minister.

Police officials refused to comment. “I am not aware,” was the statement offered by top brass of the city police.

Even Islam refused to comment. “Since this is about me, I will not comment on the issue.” Sources inform that Islam had earlier written to Banerjee warning her of filing a criminal case if she did not respond to his letter by July 22.

Islam was considered an officer close to Banerjee. He had a conflict with the previous Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government in 2010. Banerjee then as railways minister upheld his cause as an honest and upright police officer. She created a special post for him in the railways and, on her becoming the chief minister, Islam became officer-on-special-duty at the Chief Minister’s Office.

But things started to go sour after Islam wrote two books — Betterment of Muslims in Bengal, and What the Muslims in Bengal Should Do — accusing the chief minister of trying to appease the Muslim community with handouts without really doing anything meaningful for the community.

The state government had initiated departmental proceedings against Islam accusing him of trying to create communal tension in the state.

The case was referred to the Registrar of Publications, Government of West Bengal, which after examining the contents, gave clearance as they did not find any provocative material in the books.

The police now have to seek West Bengal Governor’s sanction to prosecute anyone on the basis of this complaint.

In case no action is taken, Islam can petition the Governor, and can also move the High Court seeking judicial intervention.

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