Former IPS Officer Bharati Ghosh, who had helped TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee tackle Naxal menace in Bengal, is fielded by BJP against Bengal’s superstar Dipak Kumar Adhikari aka Dev, a sitting TMC Lok Sabha Member. Harvard-educated and UN peacekeeper Bharati Ghosh was among the eastern state’s top cops before she was left with no alternative but to seek voluntary retirement. She was once famously described by TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee as her ‘daughter’. Bharati Ghosh, who was once considered close to Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, will return to the Ghatal Lok Sabha, the locality where she once served as superintendent of Police until charges of extortion were levelled against her and were probed by the CID. She was a key officer in Mamata Banerjee’s crackdown on Maoists, her rise in the party, catalysed by her closeness to Banerjee. Now, Mamata ‘s “bhalo meye”, an MBA from Jadavpur University, an LLB from Burdwan University in West Bengal and has studied International Marketing and Psycho-Analytical Theory at Harvard University’s summer school. Following this, she received the Chevening Gurukul Fellowship of the UK government and studied at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science. She also served in the United Nations in different capacities at different locations, including Chad, Ethiopia and Somalia, and was also the UN commander for a multi-brigade force at Kosovo. Ghosh’s rise coincided with Banerjee’s chief ministership in 2011 and her former colleagues in the state police said that her success in “countering left-wing extremism” in the state was key. As the SP of West Mindapore — a district where the Left had traditionally been strong — Ghosh was involved in operations to counter Maoism, especially after Maoist leader Kishanji was killed in a shootout by the security forces. By 2015, Ghosh’s relationship with Banerjee soured and a key reason, said TMC leaders, was her perceived proximity to BJP leader Mukul Roy. After the Sabang by poll in December 2017, Ghosh was transferred to a less significant posting in command of the third Battalion of the State Armed Police. Soon after, she sought and was granted voluntary retirement. On February 1 last year, the state police registered a case against Ghosh, her husband and some officers on the basis of a complaint which said the police had taken 75 grams of gold from him on the promise of astronomic returns at the BJP’s behest, but didn’t return it. Her chartered accountant husband and eight police officials were arrested soon after. During raids at Ghosh’s residence in Naktala and two other premises in Kolkata, the CID claimed to have recovered 50 original land sale deeds amounting to Rs 300 crore, gold jewellery, pen drives, tablets, hard disks and 57 bottles of imported whiskey. During raids at Ghosh’s residence in Naktala and two other premises in Madurdaha and Sarat Chatterjee Avenue, the CID claimed to have recovered 50 original land sales. In October 2018, Ghosh approached the apex court which ordered that “no coercive action” be taken against her. The case remains subjudice.Of the seven Assembly segments in Ghatal, six are in West Medinipur district and one is in East Mindapore district. TMC sources Ghosh during her posting “was the unquestionable ruler of West Mindapore”. The leader said, “There is not one person, not one police officer, who Ghosh doesn’t know. She had fought Naxalites. She is likely to do the same for the elections.”(with TOI’’ inputs).
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