Kolkata Police Commissioner, Soumen Mitra has been selected for the prestigious “Police Medal” award this year by the West Bengal Home Department.
Two other officers have been selected in the same category for their outstanding or exemplary work, while seven officers will receive the award in the second category for their commendable work.
The officers will receive the awards from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on August 15.
According to senior officials of the Home Department, the selection of Mitra for the award is significant because he is never considered to be a ‘blue-eyed boy’ of the chief minister. The state government was forced to accept Mitra as the Commissioner after the Election Commission removed the then Commissioner Anuj Sharma and proposed his name.
Interestingly, though the CM removed many officers, appointed by the Election Commission and reinstated her trusted people, Mitra was allowed to continue as the chief of Kolkata police.
Although Mitra has always been considered to be one of the finest officers in the force, he was not close to the CM until this election.
In a similar instance before the 2016 Assembly polls in the state, the Election Commission had removed the then Commissioner of the Kolkata Police, Rajiv Kumar and Mitra was made the Commissioner. Though Mitra’s handling of the force earned him accolades, he was unceremoniously removed after Trinamool Congress came to power.
“This time it seems that Mitra has been successful in earning the confidence of the CM. He is not only continuing after the election but at the same time he has been recommended for the highest police award in the state. He has always been an able officer and an excellent administrator but now that he has earned the confidence of the CM, it is good for the police force and the city as well,” a senior IPS officer said.
Along with the Kolkata Police Commissioner, two more IPS officers are receiving the award this time. They are ADG (Prisons) Piyush Pandey and IG (North Bengal) DP Singh. The awards are given by the state government in two main categories – outstanding or exemplary work and commendable work.
The seven IPS getting the award in the second category for the commendable work in the force, include Anand Kumar (IG, CID), Syed Waqar Raja (Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police), Sumit Kumar (Superintendent of Police, Kochbihar), Bhaskar Mukherjee (Superintendent of Police, Sundarbans), Amarnath K (Superintendent of Police, East Midnapore), Dinesh Kumar (Superintendent of Police, West Midnapore), Aparajita Rai (DC STF, Kolkata Police).