KOLKATA: An IPS officer in uniform was seen touching West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s feet in a video clip which triggered a controversy among other police officers.
The video was taken by one of the few Trinamool leaders and bureaucrats present at the seashore in East Midnapore's Digha, where Banerjee went on August 21 to hold an administrative meeting.
This newspaper, however, could not verify the authenticity of the video clip independently.
Rajeev Mishra, presently posted as inspector general of police (western range), was seen in the eight-second video clip standing with other officers, including director (securities) Vineet Goyal. Mamata was seen offering Goyal a piece of cake as it was his birthday. She then offered Mishra, who took the cake, ate it and touched Mamata’s feet.
The state BJP had several times alleged that the police in Bengal are working at the behest of the ruling party. "The video clip proved that our allegation is a fact,’’ said Dilip Ghosh, president of the saffron camp’s West Bengal chapter.
Mishra, who served in important posts which include DCP (Port) and DCP (Central), is known as an efficient officer in the circle of IPS officers.
Pankaj Dutta, a retired IPS officer, criticised Mishra’s act. "A policeman is duty-bound to follow All India Service Conduct Rules. According to that rule, Mishra could salute the chief minister as she is head of a constitutional body and home minister of the state. But touching someone’s feet in uniform is a violation of the rule and it demands punishment," Dutta said.
Attempts to contact Mishra proved futile as he did not answer calls or reply to the messages that were sent to him.