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West Bengal: Day After Cash Seized from BJP Leader, EC Shunts Out West Medinipur SP

Officials seized Rs 35 lakh in cash from Samit Mondal hours after a public meeting held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kharagpur

Team Clarion

KOLKATA – The Election Commission is facing criticism for transferring Dhritiman Sarkar, Superintendent of Police of West Medinipur in West Bengal, a day after the district police seized Rs 35 lakh in cash from a Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Samit Mondal.

In an order issued on Monday, Rakesh Kumar, Chief Secretary of West Bengal, said the Election Commission has decided that IPS officer Sarkar be transferred to a post not related to elections with immediate effect.

West Medinipur is among the districts that go to polls on May 25 in the sixth round of voting in the seven-phase general elections. In all, eight parliamentary constituencies are at stake in this round of polling.

On Sunday, a team of West Bengal police and Election Commission officials seized Rs 35 lakh in cash from Mondal hours after a public meeting held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kharagpur.

During a preliminary investigation, BJP leaders reportedly claimed that the cash was given to them from the BJP state committee office for election purposes. However, they failed to provide any document to substantiate their claim. Accordingly, Mondal was taken into custody and the information of the money seizure was conveyed to the Income Tax department as well.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) has alleged that the Medinipur SP was transferred because a team of district police had seized the cash from the BJP leader.

Attacking Prime Minister Modi, Abhishek Banerjee, general secretary of the Trinamool Congress, took to social media platform X to say: “Yesterday, BJP leader Samit Mondal, who was on the dais at PM Modi’s meeting, was caught red-handed by district police with ₹35 lakh unaccounted cash. Today, the ECI has transferred the SP of the same district. This is Modi’s guarantee: SAFE HAVEN FOR RAPISTS AND THE CORRUPT!”.

When the BJP leader was caught with the cash, Benerjee said the prime minister was at the stage professing that he would not take bribes nor allow anyone to take them. But off the stage, he parks the black money and allows others to do it.

Rajya Sabha MP and TMC leader Sagrika Gosh described the transfer of the SP as another shocker from the Election Commission.

“SP Purulia, (Medinipur division) a highly decorated officer who won gallantry awards fighting Maoists, suddenly transferred by @ECISVEEP 4 days before elections in Medinipur. 3 other police officials also transferred. This was after police found 35 lakh cash with @BJP4India Medinipur leader Samit Mandal who also shared a stage with @narendramodi. Shame!,” she posted on X.

Journalist Shoaib Danyal said the Central government is controlling the state governments through the Election Commission.

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