Frying-pan slot for Sen

Calcutta, Feb. 8: Damayanti Sen, the police officer who hit the headlines when the Park Street rape case was cracked, has been transferred to the hills as deputy inspector-general, Darjeeling range.

The frying-pan assignment carries rewarding opportunities as well as treacherous pitfalls at a time the hills have turned restive following a controversial speech by the chief minister last week. The oneupmanship game since then has led to a call for a bandh in the hills tomorrow ' the first such shutdown after Mamata Banerjee assumed power. ( )

The Darjeeling post, created in 1986 at the height of the statehood movement flare-up, has been lying vacant since September 2012 after the then DIG, Anand Kumar, was shifted to Siliguri as police commissioner.

"This is a routine transfer and one shouldn't read too much between the lines. Besides Damayanti, five other officers have been transferred in today's order," said a home department official.

A section of police officers insisted that the chief minister was taking the hills situation seriously and she wanted an efficient officer to take charge. "Our pool of efficient officers is not that large. So, the government had to depend on Sen, whose capabilities have been tried and tested," a senior officer said.

"She was the first woman detective chief of Calcutta and has tackled law-and-order situations quite effectively as deputy commissioner of police, North," said another officer. "This transfer is a move to allow her to show her mettle."

But the circumstances preceding Sen's earlier transfer made many speculate if the new assignment was a punishment or a reward.

At a media conference last year, Sen's unhesitating reply in the affirmative to a question if the complainant in the Park Street case was raped had changed the complexion of the controversy. The confirmation had come in the face of insistence by Mamata Banerjee that it was a "sajano ghatana (fabricated incident)".

Within two months, the 1996-batch IPS officer, who was heading the investigation into the rape case as the city detective chief, was transferred to the Police Training School at Barrackpore as DIG (training). Since then, the Park Street case has not made much headway ' and the main accused is still absconding.

Last year, officials had countered suggestions that she was being shunted out by a vengeful government by saying that the officer was being given a relatively less demanding post to take care of her family.

This time, though, no such explanation came till late this evening. "The question is whether the role of DIG (Darjeeling range) is less taxing than that of DIG (training)," said a senior officer.

He said the government was in a win-win situation as far as the transfer was concerned. Credit for success by Sen will be shared by the government for making the right choice while few tears are expected to be shed if she stumbles.

The first person to occupy the hill post, R.K. Handa, was lauded by the then government and he eventually retired as the director-general of police in Sikkim.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Kolkata bowling vs Bangalore batting might

Kolkata bowling vs Bangalore batting might

The likely return of Gayle will boost Bangalore, but the result could be determined by Kolkata's bowlers. More »

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting the IPL as a means of protest against the grime in the game may not yield the desired results. More »

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gautam made an eight-ball duck in the opening game against Mumbai and in the second game against Delhi, he lasted only half those balls. More »

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

IPL 7, GAME 10—Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 runs after last-over scare. More »

April 24: A legend is born

As Sachin Tendulkar turns 41 - here's a look at some offbeat moments from the Master Blaster's innings. More »

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

The group opposed to Srinivasan alleged that since BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel belongs to the president’s group, he was intentionally delaying the SGM… More »

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Herath has been rested, while the team will be without the veteran pair of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, who retired from T20 internationals… More »

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

Dalmiya said that it was the first time that the BCCI had been faced with a situation where the apex court had hauled up the Board and it should have acted… More »

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

Sri Lanka depart for assignments in Ireland and England in two weeks, and Sanath Jayasuriya suggested Marvan Atapattu would be interim head coach for those… More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

The ECB continued the restructuring of the England coaching set-up on Wednesday by announcing the appointment of Paul Farbrace as assistant coach. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

The pay dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its 13 contracted players ended on Wednesday when the latter agreed to accept 10 percent of the participation… More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Dwayne Bravo is set to be sidelined for at least four weeks due to a shoulder problem. Bravo sustained the injury when attempting a catch on the boundary… More »