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Bengal cop defends arresting IAS officer

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Kolkata, Dec 1 : A day after the West Bengal government removed him as the Police Commissioner of Siliguri for “transgressing his powers and arresting an IAS officer accused of graft”, K. Jayaraman Sunday justified his action. He said he acted in public interest, and had nothing to regret.

K Jayaraman, IPS
K Jayaraman, IPS

“I have no regrets. Whatever I did was in public interest, and I believe what I did was right,” said Jayaraman, who was Saturday removed from his post after he arrested Malda District Magistrate Godala Kiran Kumar, accused of siphoning off funds from the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) while serving as its CEO. During his tenure as the CEO of SJDA from September 2011 to March 2013, Kiran Kumar allegedly siphoned off Rs.80 crore. He is the prime accused in the scam, involving a loss of Rs.200 crore to the state exchequer. Hours after Kiran Kumar’s arrest, state Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra announced Jayaraman’s removal as the Siliguri police commissioner, saying the arrest was carried out without prior permission of the government and without intimation. “Procedurally, before taking such a big step (arrest), either the permission of the state government is required or at the least it should be informed. But nothing was done in this regard and we feel he (Jayaraman) exceeded his brief and transgressed his powers,” Mitra said Saturday. Both the Congress and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Sunday extended their solidarity to Jayaraman and criticised the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in the state for removing the police officer.

Dr Godala Kiran Kumar, IAS
Dr Godala Kiran Kumar, IAS

“We stand by Jayaraman, who as an honest officer carried out his duty and arrested an IAS officer accused of corruption. It is unfortunate that he is being victimised by the state government for being upright,” CPI-M leader Asok Bhattacharya said. Echoing Bhattacharya’s views, Congress leader Abdul Mannan accused the Banerjee regime of “high-handedness” and said the attitude of the government was a big hindrance in the way of honest officers. The Banerjee government had ordered an inquiry into allegations of graft against SJDA chairman Rudranath Bhattacharya and CEO Kiran Kumar over misuse of development funds. Bhattacharya was removed as the SJDA chief in March and a four-member committee was constituted in June to probe the alleged fraud. (IANS)