'Tigress' cop in transfer buzz
|A STAFF REPORTER|
Damayanti Sen, who broke the glass ceiling at Lalbazar to become the first woman to lead the detective department, is likely to be transferred out of the city police headquarters.
The buzz in the police corridors is that Sen will be appointed deputy inspector-general (DIG) of training, a post where there is far less chance of her word being pitted against the chief minister's, as had happened in the Park Street rape case.
Among those shocked to hear about Sen's impending exit as joint commissioner of police (crime) was the 37-year-old rape victim, who had described the IPS officer as a tigress for standing up for her when even Mamata Banerjee had claimed that her complaint was "sajano(concocted)".
"I can't believe my ears….Why did this have to happen?" the woman, allegedly raped in a moving car on the night of February 5, told Metro. "She had stood firmly by my side and believed me when the rest didn't," she added, when contacted on Tuesday evening.
Home department sources told Metro that the Police Establishment Board, comprising senior IPS officers who decide postings within the state cadre, had decided that DIG (training) would be Sen's next designation.
Sources in Lalbazar, however, said Sen's name had been proposed for DIG (administration) but that was changed to DIG (training) at Writers' Buildings "at the last minute".
It wasn't immediately clear how the change came about. The recommendation would become a formal transfer order only after being ratified by the chief minister. The state secretariat would then issue a notification.
As DIG (training), Sen would be stationed at Barrackpore and be responsible for the training of cops, from constables to IPS officers.
Sen, a 1996 batch IPS officer, had taken charge of the detective department as deputy commissioner in 2009. On being promoted to the rank of DIG, her post was upgraded to joint commissioner (crime).
Colleagues in Lalbazar tried to play down the significance of the transfer, saying it was routine. "Promotions for officers of the 1998 batch have necessitated a reshuffle. She isn't the only officer on the transfer list," a senior IPS officer said.
Apart from Sen, over 60 IPS officers will be transferred within the city and state police once the chief minister's office endorses or changes some of the recommendations.
Many within the police establishment, however, feel Sen is being given a posted "far below her abilities as an officer" because of the stand she had taken in the Park Street rape case. She had confirmed that rape did take place during a news conference in Lalbazar barely 48 hours after chief minister Mamata Banerjee's statement on February 16, saying the incident had been "concocted to malign the government".
Sen had said: "In this case, the victim's statement is most important. A medical report is not always mandatory."
She and other senior Lalbazar officers then went to Writers' for a meeting with Mamata, following which Sen said that Lalbazar had worked as a team to crack the case.
Sen, whose previous assignments include stints as additional superintendent of police (headquarters) of South 24-Parganas, DC (central) and DC (north), is also the first woman officer to head the special branch of Calcutta police.
Tripurari, who is currently DC (central division), or Pallab Kanti Ghosh, joint commissioner of police (organisation), are being tipped to be the next joint commissioner of police (crime).
Jawed Shamim, joint commissioner of police (headquarters), is likely to retain his post for a while, following which he too will leave Lalbazar for a posting at Writers' Buildings or beyond.
"We are expecting a major reshuffle of IPS officers for the posts of DC (north), DC (south suburban division), DC (port), DC (traffic) and DC (central)," said a source.