Damayanti Sen new Darjeeling DIG

Kolkata, Feb 8 (IANS) The West Bengal government Friday named Kolkata's former Joint Police Commissioner (crime) Damayanti Sen -- transferred after she cracked the Park Street rape case -- as the new deputy inspector general of Darjeeling range.

The appointment comes on the eve of shutdown call by pro-Gorkhaland Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in the Darjeeling hills.

The post was lying vacant for some time and Sen's appointment comes at a time when the GJM has revived its demand for a separate state in the north Bengal hills, which has seen repeated unrest since the 1980s.

Sen was Kolkata's first woman joint commissioner of police (crime) and endeared herself to the masses by her pursuit and cracking of the case involving the alleged rape of an Anglo-Indian woman in a moving car Feb 6 last year.

In contrast to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who dismissed the allegations of the victim as "cooked up", Sen and her team continued the probe and arrested three people to conclude that the mother of two had indeed been raped.

Sen's endeavours also virtually ran counter to Police Commissioner Ranjit Pachnanda's comment that the vicitm's allegation was a campaign to "malign the police and the government".

But only two days after she cracked the case, Sen and Joint Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) Jawed Shamim rushed to the state secretariat to "clarify" their stand to the chief minister.

About six weeks later, Sen was transferred as deputy inspector general of police (training) in Barrackpore, considered a garage posting for an Indian Police Service officer till then entrusted with solving complex crime cases in the metropolis.

Sen's removal triggered angry reactions and till date the incident is cited by the opposition and civil society as an example of the state administration's shoddy treatment of upright police officers.

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