KOLKATA: Rina Mitra, former special secretary (internal security) in the Union Home Ministry who got bumped out of the race for the post of CBI director, has been appointed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the principal advisor (internal security) of the state Home Ministry.
A 1983 batch IPS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre and a batchmate of CBI director Rishi Shukla, Mitra was the only woman among 12 officers in the race for the CBI top post.
If chosen, she would have been the first woman to head the premier investigating agency. She came into prominence recently after expressing her ire in a Kolkata-based English daily accusing the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee of deferring its selection process a day after Mitra's retirement on January 31.
"I did qualify on all parameters to be considered for selection to head the premier investigation body of the country. I was indeed the senior-most officer fulfilling all the four essential criteria including experience in CBI and anti-corruption. However, an easily avoidable delay of just one day in the selection process ensured that I was bumped out of the race and no longer in contention," she wrote.
The appointment of Mitra as Mamata Banerjee's security advisor gains significance in the wake of a heightened clash between Centre and West Bengal.
Official notification for Mitra's appointment in West Bengal is expected soon.
Speaking to media outlets, Mitra has termed her first post-retirement assignment as 'homecoming' and that she was looking forward to it. Sources revealed that Mamata Banerjee herself has spoken with Rina Mitra and is likely to meet her in Delhi before returning to Kolkata on February 15.
Several Bengal bureaucrats feel that Mitra's appointment would be blessing for the state in the wake of the Centre-state turf war. Born in 1959 at Sanctoria in Asansol in West Bengal, Mitra graduated from Kolkata's Lady Brabourne College and did her Masters in Literature from Calcutta University and earned her MPhil from National Defence College.
In a career spanning over 34 years, Mitra has served in Madhya Pradesh as Superintendent of Police in three districts, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Inspector General of MP Crime Investigation Department (CID), state police IG as well as in MP vigilance department.
She also worked in the Railway Board, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and was director of National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science.
Mitra served as CBI superintendent for five years and was appointed as special secretary (internal security) of the Union Home Ministry in 2017, from where she retired. Mitra won the Police Medal for meritorious service in 1999 and President's Medal for distinguished service in 2008.