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Mamata transfers Kolkata police chief after college violence, WB Governor criticises the move


Priyanka Gupta,CNN-IBN
Feb 15, 2013 at 11:50am IST

Kolkata: Three days after campus violence rocked Kolkata's Garden Reach area and left a police sub-inspector dead, the State Governor himself has stepped into what is turning to be West Bengal's latest political row after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday transferred police commissioner Ranjit Kumar Pachnanda.

Mamata has justified the transfer by saying that delay in filing an FIR and action against the accused led to Pachnanda being shunted out. But sources said that Pachanda's exit was precipitated after the key accused Sheikh Suhan, an active member of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) was taken into custody after being caught on camera firing at the sub-inspector. Mamata said, "Why have people with criminal records not been arrested? The guilty have to be punished. There was a delay in taking action so I had to take matters into my own hands."

However, Governor MK Narayanan said, "I don't know the reason why the Police Commissioner has been removed.But if it has something to do with what has happened in the last few days, I think it is something that will have to be looked at very carefully." Suhan is also allegdly close to Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim who himself is in Mamata's inner circle of trust.

The slain cop - Tapas Chowdhury - a sub-inspector, was shot from close range while trying to control the clashing students in West kolkata's Garden Reach area on Tuesday. Twelve people have been taken into custody in connection with the killing. Pachananda's transfer comes at a time when the Mamata government has been facing lot of criticism over the incident, especially for the alleged shielding of a Trinamool Councillor by her party men.

Banerjee, who too visited the bereaved family, lost her cool to a media poser about Iqbal's arrest. However, she gave an indication of her displeasure, saying some names were missing from the FIR and that she would enquire about the matter. Banerjee, who visited the policeman's family two days after the incident, offered some relief on compassionate grounds.

With Additional Inputs from PTI

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