EC okays replacement of top cop in West Bengal

5 months ago 6

NEW DELHI: Effecting an important change in the

West Bengal police brass

after the announcement of assembly polls, the

Election Commission

on Saturday approved the replacement of ADG & IGP (law and order) and state nodal police officer

Jawed Shamim

with Jag Mohan, serving as DG (fire services) in the state, “with immediate effect in the interest of public service”.
As per sources, the decision to appoint Jag Mohan, an ADG-rank

IPS

officer, as ADG & IGP (law and order) and state nodal police officer was taken based on the unanimous recommendation of three special observers posted by th EC in

West Bengal

– special general observer Ajay Nayak and special police observers Vivek Dubey and Mrinal Kanti Das. The special observers, along with senior officials of the poll panel, agreed that Shamim was not suitable for holding the crucial post of state nodal police officer.
The state nodal police officer is critical to drawing up the

election security

and deployment plan for any poll-going state, and is part of the three-member panel directed by the EC to jointly decide the election security plan and ensure randomisation of state police and central para-military personnel. Sources said Shamim was appointed as the state nodal police officer prior to announcement of polls, though an EC functionary said the West Bengal government should have ideally taken prior approval of the commission even though the model code of conduct was yet to come into force.
With the model code now officially empowering the EC to review transfer and postings of administration and police officials connected with the poll process and with the special observers unanimously recommending that Jawed Shamim be replaced, the commission decided to pick another ADG-level officer assessed as more suited for discharge of duties as the state nodal police officer. Accordingly, Jag Mohan was approved for appointment as ADG & IGP (Law and Order) and state nodal police officer for the upcoming poll in West Bengal.
The EC decision is said to have been guided by

BJP

and CPM’s complaints about the alleged lack of impartiality on part of West Bengal police officials during 2019 Lok Sabha poll. CPM, in a letter written to the EC on January 21, 2021, alleged that central forces deployed in West Bengal in 2019 general election “were not utilised properly and kept idle instead of controlling the hooliganism during the poll process”.

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