KOLKATA: Flagging the "custodial death" of a man whom the BJP has claimed to be its worker, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday alleged that the state "politicised" police has "finger in every pie" of governance.
In a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Dhankhar said the demise of Madan Ghorai of Kanakpur village in East Midnapore district is yet another instance of "dehumanising torture, assault and death" in custody and asserted that such incidents, dotting the state, have assumed "horrendous proportions, impeaching the credibility of rule of law".
"It is an open secret that politicised police has 'finger in every pie' of governance, a facet of police state," Dhankhar said.
Ghorai was arrested in Patashpur in East Medinipur district on September 26 in connection with a kidnapping case.
The police had said he was in judicial custody and not in its custody as claimed by the saffron party.
"High time you redeem your constitutional oath and enforce rule of law, ensure 'democratic governance' in the state, make police and administration 'politically neutral' and accountable," Dhankhar wrote to the chief minister.
The governor also criticised the state government for engaging retired IPS officers Surajit Kar Purkayastha as state security advisor and Rina Mitra as principal advisor, internal security, alleging that such appointments are draining "the exchequer heavily".
Dhankhar called for "sanitising power corridors of non-state actors and (to) ensure that SSA and principal advisor, internal security, do not boss over the statutorily structured police apparatus, thereby reducing the DGP and other police officials to abject subordination and to insignificance".
The governor, who has been at odds with the government since assuming charge in the state, requested the chief minister to conform to constitutional prescriptions to ensure rule of law in the state.
"...we are at penultimate stage of governance not being 'carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution' and 'internal disturbance' in parts of the state," Dhankhar said in his letter.
The governor also urged the chief minister to address the issues flagged by him on a priority basis.
Dhankhar, in his letter, referred to another incident involving a Sikh man, whose turban was allegedly pulled by the police during a recent protest by the BJP.
The man, identified as 43-year-old Balwinder Singh, is a resident of Bhatinda in Punjab.
Dhankhar said Singh, who was arrested by the police during the BJP's protest programme on October 8, is already a "poster boy for blatant human right violations in the state".
Pointing to the killing of BJP leader Manish Shukla, the governor expressed his concern at "floating inputs of unleashing of strategised dare-devilish intimidatory tactics to browbeat political opponents".
Dhankhar also reiterated his accusation against the state government and said efforts were on to "compromise working of the Raj Bhavan and make the governor dysfunctional".
He also said these are "blatant transgressions" of the Constitution.