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Monday, June 5, 2023

Serving IPS Humayun Kabir promises to stand by Muslims of WB, says ‘dark clouds approaching’

Controversial IPS Humayun Kabir, posted as Commissioner Police (CP), Chandannagar Police Commissionerate in the rank of DIG in West Bengal, was found making partisan and politically-coloured remarks while addressing a public gathering organised by an NGO in Murshidabad.

In the video of the speech which has gone viral on social media, IPS Humayun Kabir says,

“I have worked at different places of West Bengal almost in 14 to 15 zillas (districts) at different times and because of that I have come in contact with different people.  Among them I have seen that the people of the minority groups especially Muslim community in particular, are far behind.

In West Bengal the Muslim population is about 28% to 30% but they are far behind in all fields like social, educational and professional. We are far behind in terms of education and employment. Not even 10% but only 5% to 7% of West Bengal’s total wealth is held by Muslims which should have at least been 30%.

In the field of education we are far behind. We are lagging behind in all aspects of the development. I am saying that if you face any grave situation, I will be with you. A big storm is approaching, dark clouds are hovering above West Bengal and the political situation is also very chaotic. I will stand by you in any given situation.

I am very much by your side. I have worked in this district for five years. I will not leave you. I will stay in West Bengal. I am a Bengali. I will stand by your side at the right time. I will protest and stand up for what needs to be done.”

The reference to ‘big storm approaching….dark clouds hovering’ can only be construed as a comment on the upcoming state elections where BJP has emerged as the prime challenger to the ruling TMC regime.

Such a speech by a serving IPS officer is clearly in contravention of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules applicable to IAS and IPS officers, which state that “every member of the Service shall maintain political neutrality” and “fairness and impartiality in the discharge of duties.”

Prasun Maitra, President of social organisation Atmadeep, asked a pertinent question – “How many Hindu IPS officers in WB can extend support to people of their community & comment on current political scenario in a public event? No wonder Humayun Kabir is still holding his post even after Telenipara Riot though S.R. Mishra was transferred after Dhulagarh Riot.”

With senior officers like Kabir at the helm, it is no wonder that West Bengal has experienced a breakdown of law & order in the last decade. Over one hundred workers/leaders of opposition parties have been murdered, widespread violence was seen during each and every election (state, national, panchayat) and Islamists have indulged in rioting with impunity.

Such politicisation and communalisation of the state police force is also being seen in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

In May, when houses and business establishments of Hindus were attacked in Hooghly’s Telinipara area by Islamists, Humayun Kabir, is the senior-most officer in that area, was accused by local Hindus of failing to safeguard them. Activists alleged police harassed innocent Hindus instead of picking up the rioters.

IPS Humayun Kabir, who also fashions himself as a litterateur, is the toast of Kolkata’s liberal-secular intelligentsia. This trusted confidante of CM Mamata Banerjee was transferred by the Election Commission ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

He has written books like ‘Final Gazi’ (Gazi means a Muslim warrior who has been victorious in battle against non-Muslims) which is reportedly a story of  Hindu-Muslim relationship in the villages of Bengal, which was released in 2018 by the CM at the Kolkata International Book Fair.

One of the stories he wrote has been adapted into a movie ‘Aleya‘ released in 2018, which was directed by Kabir himself. The movie starts off with a minor Muslim girl named Aaleya who is married against her wishes to a man of her parents’ choice, and who is murdered when she questions the misogynist custom of instant triple talaq (incidentally, Supreme Court had passed its judgement against instant triple talaq in 2017). The movie then takes the form of a thriller and fans out to other issues like evil of child marriage, other violations of women’s rights and also has references to the Gujarat riots.

The regional censor board had advised for six modifications in the film including muting the word “Gujarat” used twice in the film, “Ahmedabad”, “Jai Shri Ram”, “kafer” and “trishuley genthe.” Both Humayun Kabir and his wife Anindita Das Kabir also appeared in the film.

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