A top police officer in Bengal resigned today just days after he ordered the arrest of three BJP workers for “Goli Maro…(shoot the traitors)” slogans raised at a roadshow last week.
Humayun Kabir, an Inspector General-rank officer and the police commissioner of Chandannagar near Kolkata, quit citing “personal reasons”. At a separate media interaction, he said, “There are reasons for my resignation that I will share after a few days. Let me first be released from service.”
The sudden resignation triggered speculation about the possibility of Mr Kabir’ s entry into politics. He was due to retire on April 30 and could have sought or offered an extension but instead, he decided to quit as of January 31.
The BJP had accused Mr Kabir of trying to keep Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress happy because he wanted the party to field his wife in the upcoming Bengal election.
However, some sources claim Mr Kabir, once the Chief Minister’s blue-eyed boy, had fallen out of favour with her for “moving close to the BJP”. He also reportedly made some politically controversial comments at a public event in December where he complained about the backward state of the minority community in Bengal.
In March last year, there were communal riots at Telinipara and the area adjoining Chandannagar.
Mr Kabir refused to comment on questions about his possible political plans.
On January 21, three BJP supporters who shouted the infamous “Goli Maro” slogan at a rally were arrested in the dead of night for allegedly attempting to incite violence.
A local BJP leader at Chandannagar, Suresh Shaw, and two others were picked by the police hours after they shouted the slogan while participating in a roadshow by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and Hooghly MP locket Chatterjee.
Suvendu Chatterjee, once Mamata Banerjee’s closest aide, quit her party last month and joined the BJP, triggering an exodus from the Trinamool Congress.
Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy said the arrests were “a completely police matter and the party had no hand in it”.
The arrests raised questions because supporters of the Trinamool Congress, who had shouted a tweaked version of the same slogan on the streets of Kolkata a day before, had not been arrested.