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The 3 Bengal IPS officers who will probe political violence cases against Mamata’s TMC

IPS officers Suman Bala Sahoo, Soumen Mitra and Ranveer Kumar make up the SIT formed by the Calcutta High Court to probe the cases of political violence. 

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Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court, which directed the CBI to probe cases and allegations of politically motivated murders and rapes after the Bengal elections results on 2 May, has formed an SIT to investigate other cases related to post-poll violence. 

The ‘other’ cases included cases of grievous hurt or incapacitation, arson, vandalisation, loot, damage to public or private property, threats and criminal intimidation. The court in its order named three IPS officers — Suman Bala Sahoo, Soumen Mitra and Ranveer Kumar — as the members of the SIT. 

Sahoo, the senior-most and a Director General of Police (DGP)-ranked officer will lead the committee, while Mitra and Kumar, both Additional Director General (ADG)-ranked officers will be part of the committee. All three are West Bengal cadre officers. The investigation by the SIT will be monitored by the court. 

The working of the SIT shall be overviewed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, for which a separate order shall be passed after taking his/her consent, the order added. 

Of these three IPS officers, one is now the commissioner of Kolkata Police. 

Sahoo holds the position of DGP, Telecommunication, widely believed to be an insignificant post. Mitra is Kolkata’s Police Commissioner, while Kumar is now ADG, administration of West Bengal Police Directorate (WBPD). 

According to the court’s order, the three IPS officers have to investigate the allegations against Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress. So what and how many cases do they have in hand? 

The HC in its order referred to the NHRC report in which data given by the West Bengal DGP has been quoted. According to the court order, 388 FIRs for grievous hurt or incapacitation, 609 FIRs for arson, vandalisation and loot and 130 FIRs for intimidation were lodged. The SIT has to probe all these cases. 

Also read: Bengal to Delhi via northeast? How Mamata plans to capture Bengali vote, expand TMC footprint

Suman Bala Sahoo 

Sahoo, an 1987-batch IPS officer, is one of the five DG-ranked officers who are empaneled for the post of Bengal’s DGP and the only woman IPS to hold such a rank in the state now. 

According to seniority in the IPS hierarchy, Sahoo ranks fourth. 

Known as a straight and upright officer, Sahoo’s professional integrity was never questioned. 

She is also one of the very few female IPS officers to have a long stint in investigating agencies. She was in the CBI for almost five years, from 2010 to 2015 as the joint director of CBI’s Kolkata unit. 

She moved onto central deputation in 2010, but was recalled by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, when she assumed office in 2011. Sahoo, however, completed her five-year term in the CBI and then returned to her home cadre. 

Since then, she has not been given any significant position. She was made ADG, welfare, and then promoted as DG, welfare, She was recently posted as DG, telecommunication. 

She has at least eight to nine years of experience in investigation. Before joining the CBI, Sahoo worked in the detective department of Kolkata Police as a deputy commissioner (DC) and in the CID as special superintendent. 

Also read: Want Mamata Didi as India’s second woman PM, should lead battle against BJP: Akhil Gogoi

Soumen Mitra 

Soumen Mitra has long been known for his honesty and integrity. There have been no allegations of political motivation or partisan attitude against him by any political party even when he was designated the Commissioner of Kolkata Police by Mamata Banerjee in February 2021. 

Mitra, a Presidency graduate and an alumni of JNU, served as DC, Detective Department of Kolkata Police, and IG, CID, for several years and has significant experience working in investigating agencies. 

After Mamata Banerjee came to power, Mitra never held frontline or significant positions. 

He served as an additional and special CP for years. During the assembly election in 2016, the Election Commission of India removed Rajeev Kumar, who was the then CP of Kolkata and posted Mitra to the post. 

Rajeev Kumar was removed as there were allegations of corruption and political motivation against him by opposition parties. 

Mitra, however, remained “neutral” during the elections, but was removed immediately after the election results. He was posted as CP in April 2016, but was unceremoniously removed by Mamata Banerjee in May that year, when Rajeev Kumar was reinstated. 

Between May 2016 and February 2021, Mitra held the position of ADG, training, seen as an ‘insignificant’ one in IPS circles. 

According to sources in the Bengal police directorate, Mitra was made CP of Kolkata Police in February this year because of his integrity and impeccable track record as an officer. 

“The government needed an officer, whom the ECI will not transfer out like it did in the 2016 and 2019 elections,” said a senior officer.

Mitra is also known to have interests in literature and wrote at least two books, related to the history of football and Barrackpore park. 

Ranveer Kumar 

Ranveer Kumar, a 1990-batch IPS officer, is known to maintain a low profile. Kumar is currently posted as ADG, administration. 

He served the state as IG, North Bengal, ADG, Prison, and Armed Police. He has never been in a confrontation with any political party or the state government.  

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

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