ANUJ Sharma, Former Additional Director General of Police, West Bengal, has taken charge as the Commissioner of Police of Kolkata following Rajiv Kumar taken over as Additional Director General of State, CID. Kumar was being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation for his role in the way the mutli-crore Sharada chit fund was probed by the State Government formed Special Investigation Team. Kumar was the head of the SIT before the case was transferred to the CBI in 2014 following a Supreme Court order. The CBI earlier this month had made a botched attempt to raid Kumar’s residence after he allegedly refused to respond to its summons of appearance before it. Even as the “State police versus CBI” tussle turned into a high-tension battle between the Trinamool Congress Government and the Narendra Modi Government with Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee staging a dharna against alleged central arm-twisting the Supreme Court directed Kumar to appear before the CBI at a neutral place in Shillong where the former Kolkata Commissioner of Police was grilled for 40 hours over several days. The central agency had been claiming that the erstwhile Kolkata Police chief had destroyed the evidence in the chit fund scam when he headed the SIT. It further said the copies of call records handed over by SIT to CBI were doctored. Kumar and the State Government however rejected the accusation. Kumar has offered cooperation with the federal investigation and prosecution authority probing the scam depriving over two million people of their hard earned savings. A 1991 batch IPS officer, Anuj Sharma was promoted from IG (Law and Order) to the rank of ADG in 2015. He had played a major role in maintaining law and order in Darjeeling during the Gorkha unrest last year. Rajeev Kumar, who has been at the centre of the controversy around the investigation of the Saradha scam which he had initially probed as the head of the SIT. Kumar, having served as the Commissioner of Kolkata Police for three years, was scheduled for a transfer ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. He was moved out following an Election Commission directive. Sources have told The Indian Express that the state BJP has been coaxing the party leadership in New Delhi to put pressure on a section of IPS officers seen close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and Kumar is said to be on top of the list. The Union Home Ministry has reportedly reminded the West Bengal government that the MHA is the cadre controlling authority of IPS and IAS officers and hence, they must maintain distance from political parties and neutrally perform duties.
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