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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Writers' flutter over transfer of NB IGP

TOI, Kolkata: A senior police officer has got into a row with the government for his reluctance to be removed from Darjeeling, where he claims to have worked "single-handedly to curb the GJM movement. The plea has been summarily rejected and the issue has created a furore at Writers' Buildings.
A week after the state issued a transfer notification of 27 IPS officers, including IG (North Bengal) Kundan Lal Tamta, the latter shot off a petition to home secretary Samar Ghosh that he should be retained in his current post. Tamta, who has just been transferred as IG (planning), is said to be close to CPM's Darjeeling district unit. Urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya has been openly lobbying to retain him in the Hills.
DGP Bhupinder Singh said: "The police establishment board (PEB) has rejected the plea. It will be decided later whether the matter warrants disciplinary procedure.
Tamta cited several reasons why the government shouldn't remove him from Darjeeling. "He wrote to the home secretary that he has single-handled tackled the GJM movement and has been fighting all by himself to bring peace in the region. He says he speaks the local language and has bonded well with the people, the DGP said.
The IG — as the DGP said — also wrote that he should either be sent to CID (Bhabani Bhaban) or Kolkata Police (Lalbazar) if the government must transfer him. The IG seemed unwilling to work at Writers' and take orders from the DGP. Officials said the relationship between the two had soured over the past few months, but Tamta managed to enjoy the confidence of a section of CPM leaders who openly sided with him vis-à-vis his transfer.
However, the DGP sounded firm as he said, "Tamta's order stays. He will join as IG (planning) and hand over charge to Ranvir Kumar. The IG's letter led to brisk action at Writers' as the five-member PEB met on Friday to discuss the matter at length before turning down the petition. The members include the DGP, police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti and three senior-most ADGs.
Officials said Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee — despite pressure from comrades — decided to go by the rulebook by forwarding the letter to PEB. Officials till the IG's rank should route letters through the DGP and not the home secretary. 
WB hit by transport strike
PTI, Kolkata, 26 June : Normal life was badly hit in West Bengal as buses, taxis and autorickshaws went off the roads Saturday in response to a public transport strike called by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) against the fuel price hike.
Despite being a holiday for government employees, commuters were inconvenienced as a handful of taxis and autorickshaws that plied made a killing by charging exorbitant fares. Ferry services on various rivers across the state also did not operate.
The strike was called by CITU, the labour arm of the ruling CPI(M), hours after the central government Friday ended government curbs on petroleum pricing and hiked the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas. The price of diesel went up by Rs.2 a litre, kerosene by Rs.3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs.35 per cylinder. The prices of petrol will now be costlier by about Rs 3.50 per litre.
Desperate commuters got onto trucks to reach their destinations while cycle rickshaws and the city’s runner-pulled rickshaws provided relief to many while charging them more money.
Though flights and train services were kept outside the purview of the protest, people had trouble getting transport to reach their destinations from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose airport or railway stations. Car owners were lucky as vehicles meant for private use were exempted from the strike. Metro Railway services, also in the exempted category, also functioned normally.
“There are no reports of any untoward incident. The situation is completely peaceful,” state Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh told reporters.

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