Tripura police conducting search operations in various parts of the state since Wednesday night Credit: EastMojo image

Agartala: The West Tripura Superintendent of Police (SP) Ajit Pratap Singh was placed under suspension in Agartala on Thursday night for his alleged failure to arrest former PWD minister Badal Choudhury despite numerous raids in different parts of the district. The deputy inspector general (DIG) of Southern Range, Arindam Nath, has also been transferred with immediate effect.

An order, signed by the deputy secretary, government of Tripura, said, “A disciplinary proceeding against Shri Ajit Pratap Singh, IPS (TR: 12) Supdt. Of Police, West Tripura is contemplated / pending and now, therefore, the competent authority, in exercise of powers conferred by Clause (a) of Sub-rule (1) of Rule-3 of the All India Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969 hereby place Ajit Pratap Singh, IPS under suspension with immediate effect.”

During the period that this order shall remain in force and the headquarters of Ajit Pratap Singh, IPS will be at Agartala and the Singh shall not leave the headquarters without obtaining the prior permission of the competent authority, the order further read,

Meanwhile, the police department has appointed Ajay Kumar Das as the new deputy superintendent of police of crime branch giving him the charge of investigating officer in the PWD scam with immediate effect.

The previous investigating officer, Raju Reang, sub-divisional police officer of the new Capital Complex (NCC) West Tripura, has been transferred and replaced by Sadar SDPO Dhruba Nath.

The deputy inspector general (DIG) Southern Range, Arindam Nath, has also been transferred and attached to PHQ with immediate effect.

The reshuffle in the home department came after the team of police failed to find out the former minister after the district and sessions court rejected his anticipatory bail late on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, speaking with EastMojo, the counsel of Badal Choudhury said that the bail plea which was supposed to be filed on Thursday could not be done due to delay and they would file the bail application on Friday.

He also said that a team of Tripura police on Wednesday night entered the CPI-M party office which is illegal and they should have waited for morning.

Former minister Choudhury is on the run soon after the court rejected the anticipatory bail application on Wednesday after the argument between the two sides of the counsel continued from 12 pm to 3 pm and the order came at 11:50 pm on Wednesday.

The court in its order has also sent the former chief engineer Sunil Bhowmik on four days of police remand for his alleged involvement in the PWD scam amounting to over Rs 600 crore.

Earlier, an FIR by the state vigilance department was registered in the West Agartala police station with case number 251 of 2019 under section 401, 420, 418, 102, 120 (b) of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act 13 against the former PWD minister Badal Chowdhury, former chief engineer Sunil Bhowmik and former chief secretary YP Singh over an alleged scam of Rs 600 crore.

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