Former Kolkata Additional Director General, CID Rajeev Kumar | ANI
Former Kolkata Additional Director General, CID Rajeev Kumar | ANI
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Kolkata: Rajeev Kumar had once towered above the landscape of West Bengal and its capital Kolkata as the high-profile police commissioner of the city. Now, he is a pale shadow of his former self, shuttling between the Supreme Court and the Calcutta High Court, filing petitions seeking extension of legal protection from probable arrest, and to get the CBI’s notices to him quashed.

The CBI is about to file a supplementary chargesheet in the Bengal chit fund scam case, and is set to name Kumar as co-accused under sections relating to criminal conspiracy, for allegedly tampering with evidence and trying to hide relevant documents to save the accused, including politicians associated with the ruling Trinamool Congress.

According to the high court’s records, between 30 May and 23 July, seven hearings have taken place on the petitions filed by Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer who is now the additional director general of the West Bengal CID.

However, there is a marked change in him. According to one of his IPS colleagues, he has quietened down over the last few months, and barely goes to work. The invincible aura around him seems to have faded.

Kumar’s situation is a microcosm of the shifting power equation in the state, with the BJP mounting pressure on Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, both in terms of expanding its footprint in West Bengal and the relations between the central and state governments.

A bevy of notices

Kumar has been served with at least five summonses by the CBI since October 2017, but he has only appeared before the probe agency twice — first, a Supreme Court-mandated appearances in Shillong in February, and then in Kolkata on 7 June, when he was grilled.

Between those appearances, the CBI sought the top court’s approval for custodial interrogation of Kumar, alleging he was “arrogant and non-cooperative” in Shillong and was also trying to hide details. Kumar too moved the Supreme Court, and was granted protection from arrest, though the stay on custodial interrogation was vacated by the SC in May. His petitions were then dismissed by the apex court, which asked him to move the Calcutta High Court.

At present, Kumar has been granted protection from arrest by the Calcutta HC, and his petitions are still being heard.


Also read: In images, CBI-Kolkata Police row washes out both Houses of Parliament


Kumar’s rise to the top

Kumar is an IIT graduate and technocrat who joined the IPS and quickly gained a reputation for being highly competent and efficient, and possessing a cunning mind that gave him the edge over his peers.

When the Left was in power, opposition leader Banerjee used to paint Kumar, the then chief of the Kolkata Police’s Special Task Force, as the villain of the piece. She publicly accused him of snooping on opposition leaders and labelled his methods of policing as “unconstitutional”, alleging that he indulged in tapping their phones and trapping them at the behest of the ruling coalition.

The tide turned after Banerjee came to power in 2011. She began to realise Kumar’s worth as a police officer, given his tremendous network of sources in the underworld and among the Maoist rank and file, and his expertise in using technology to track crime and often unearth documents and highly sensitive material that would silence anybody. The Saradha scam investigation brought him into the limelight, and he was appointed head of the special investigation team (SIT) that would carry out the probe.

Still, it took a while for Banerjee to change her opinion of him. “There was a time when we were facing mass agitation and protest rallies by the Left Front. Rajeev was in charge of handling law and order. He came to me and requested to convey to our leader that he could handle things, but needed an audience with her,” a senior Trinamool leader who had earlier been with the CPI(M) told ThePrint.

“He was trying to talk to her as Didi always saw him as the trusted general of former CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. But Rajeev has the capability to turn things around, and slowly but steadily, he did that,” he added.

Kumar then superseded his seniors and became the commissioner of the Kolkata Police in 2016, and was credited with modernising the Kolkata Police. He also became a hero to his juniors, and one of CM Banerjee’s closest aides.

‘Political vendetta’ and counter-claims

Kumar has alleged in the high court that he is being targeted to “satisfy vested political interests of a party”, saying he has been “singled out” from a list of 121 officers who were part of the SIT formed to investigate the Saradha scam.

However, Kumar is among the top police officers in Bengal to have been accused of being blatantly biased in favour of the Trinamool Congress dispensation. The Election Commission of India has transferred him twice over fears of bias — once during the 2016 assembly elections and again during the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year.

The most glaring example of the blurring of lines between politicians and police officials came in February, when the CBI and the Kolkata Police — and by extension, the central and state governments — came face-to-face. The agency’s sleuths surrounded the commissioner’s residence on 3 February, and the police manhandled them in response.

Chief Minister Banerjee rushed to Kumar’s defence, organising a 45-hour ‘Save the Constitution’ dharna that was joined by many top West Bengal police officers as well as opposition politicians from other parts of the country.

A senior leader of the West Bengal BJP told ThePrint that in his time Kumar had rubbed the party the wrong way. “He started so many cases to frame senior leaders of our party. He was working as a political tool of Mamata Banerjee. There was no neutrality left in him,” the leader alleged.


Also read: Former Kolkata top cop Rajeev Kumar moves Calcutta High Court for quashing of CBI notice


 

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28 Comments Share Your Views

28 COMMENTS

  1. Kolkata police officer on the promise of anonymity on Rajeev Kumar IPS- because of his efficiency, brilliance, polite behaviour with the subordinate and the way he backed them all the time – Kumar has a very strong following in the force, and they are “doing their bit” at a time their boss is passing through rough time.

  2. It is very unfortunate that Rajiv being a senior IPS is behaving like a fugitive on the run. He was not able to solve Sharada and Rosevalley cases yet he was said to be an honest officer. Had he been so why he is not attending CBI interrogations and helping them?

    • Every body knows that Rajeev is most honest & upright officer. & cbi is hounding him for political reasons. He has a very strong following in Kolkata police force & loved by all ranks. Even he has many admirer in cbi.

  3. Mr Upendra Biswas ex additional director CBI said in an interview to a media quoted saying that it is a fact that there is no chargesheet against Rajeev Kumar by CBI in Saradha scam. “The CBI interrogated him for several days (in Shillong and in Kolkata). Now they want his custodial interrogation. Why?” he asked. “This mean that you don’t have enough material to submit a chargesheet against him. Who knows the integrity of some officers is questionable?”

    • Yes, very true that so far no chargesheet has been filed by CBI against Mr Rajeev Kumar .This clearly shows that CBI has not enough material agfainst Kumar to submit a chargesheet.

  4. I salute this brave police officer from bottom of my heart. He is a pride of all marwari community. He is dead honest & people mentioning him corrupt are either not aware of his credentials or themselves corrupt. He is still standing tall in these adverse situation
    .

    • Yes it is very difficult for honest officers like Mr Kumar to survive with corrupt politicians. But let me tell you that had he done any corruption & wrongdoings he would have been hanged by now by CBI. He is standing tall in this adverse situation is because of his honesty. He will surely bounce back.

  5. If he is really honest officer and non currept as expressed by few in above comments….. Then y is he trying to avoid or escape an independent investigation agency and taking
    political aidd of Mamata jee or help of Court…
    Y not cooperate with then instead of wasting time of every one…
    More over if he is so efficient like Scotland police as prised above….then what happened to the investigation he and his team started… Where did all public money go…. Kavva legaya Kya…?

    • Mr Reddy,
      Do you think CBI is an independent agency?
      Do honest persons are not supposed to take all legal remedies available to them by law?
      If a politician came in your support than does this mean that you are taking the help of that politician.
      Is CBI did any thing in last 5 years in Sardha scam except changing the loyalty of Mukul Roy & Hemant Visva Sarma towards BJP.

  6. It is shameful the way things are happening in west bengal,never ever in independent India a political party has sat in dharna alongwith top IPS officers against a courts decision to interrogate a suspected IPS,we all know IPS & IAS are not clean so do politicians,this incident was a direct link between corrupt politicians & police,law must take its own course…lets law decide how things will shape the outcome…but Rajeev Kumar had grown out of his boots…

    • Shameful Central goverment for using CBI to silence their opponent. Is CBI is really concerned for the poor people who have lost their hard earned savings in Chit fund componies. Why not CBI issuing summons to Mukul Roy & Hemanta visva sarma ? Who arrested the Sardha chit fund owner Sudiptosen from Kashmir ? Was Sudipto sen allowed to flee country like Malya & Nirav Modi ?

  7. All said and done, there is more than meets the eyes. For example, one can accept without any reservation the fact of his colleagues sitting in dharna with him to show their solidarity. But it is unprecedented that the CM should sit alongside him. In fact, it was she who had organised the dharna in his support. Let’s see how he fares once the CBI succeeds in taking him under their custody.

  8. I would like to remind the readers that.there is nothing new done by either Didi or Rajeev Kumar. In politics, it happened in Gujarat earlier and now happening in entire saffron India? It’s totally up to the might of Power!

  9. Rajeev Kumar is very very efficient officer. His team based on high degree of electronic surveillance, only arrested Sudipto sen,(Owner of Saradha chit fund from Kashmir). Sudipto Sen was not allowed to fly out like Malya’s & Nirav Modi.

  10. Those who are posting bad comments about Rajeev Kumar are not aware of his honesty, integrity, & capabilities . He will surely bounce back. Had he done any thing wrong he would be hanged by now. There is no substantial proof against him & even till date no FIR has been lodged against him by CBI so far.

  11. Once the concerned top cop gets put behind the bar his mentor will leave him in the lurch. This is her style of political expediency.

    • Earlier people like you blamed him that Mukul Roy is his mentor & now when he has joined BJP you feel that Mukul Roy has not done any thing wrong in Saradha scam.

  12. The main accused of Saradha Chit fund case( Hemanta Viswa Sarma & Mukul Roy) have already to joined BJP , so they are not on CBI Radar.

  13. Anyone in the office as IPS with a Blue Blood degree from IIT like Institution of the country, is rarely found in Indian Administrations till today…and no one can hardly find any official like Mr.Rajiv Kumar for the next few generations. Any sort of humiliation is beyond our toleration. Nobody has the power to pressurize such high profile official to compromise anyway. It’s ridiculously not praiseworthy at all . On the other hand the Hon’ble High Court is the best to handle such High profile case and has the authority in safeguarding the personality of such Official in a most excellent manner . I will rather suggest all IPS,IRS,IFS IAS tos organize themselves under a Registered banner like Doctors, Lawyers and others, so that their prestige is unhurt .

  14. Mr Rajiv Kumar IPS EX Commissioner of Police of Kolkata. His honesty .sincerety and good behavior Is identical. I am very proud that I work under his control few years.
    Last few years he has been hackled by some corner. Public knows its nothing but a political harassment. Its time to support him. As per my knowledge he never do anything wrong. He must over come the situation.

  15. Anyone can find an IPS with a background as IITian first, through out our country and any sort of humiliation is hardly tolerated. Any pressurisation on anything will be rather disgusting as compared to so many horrible SCAMS in our country , happened and set aside only safeguarding the Real culprits, in their own position.
    Our Hon’ble High Court is the best to judge a High Profile IPS with a Blue blood Institution like IIT.
    Let all be very careful to Deal with an man of highest Calibre.

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