IPS Nagendra Tripathi’s experience with the current dispensation has not been one to write home about. During the last Assembly Elections in 2016, when he was serving as the Dy. Commissioner of Kolkata Police, he had, allegedly slapped the owner of the renowned and traditional confectionery Girish Chandra Dey and Nakur Chandra Nandy, for keeping their shop open on Election day. Though he later apologized to the owner of the noted confectionery for the act, he was transferred soon after the Trinamool government resumed office in June, 2016.
However, in 2021, the same IPS Tripathi was seen as the brave and daring policeman that one watches in films and expects to watch in real life too- taking on the high and mighty in political echelons with aplomb. On 1st April, when the second phase of the West Bengal Assembly Elections was going on and Nandigram, which was the hot seat of Battle Royale between the incumbent Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee and her one-time protégé and current nemesis, Suvendu Adhikari, the Chief Minister, who was resting in her rented house at Reyapara up to 1.15, decided to come out and left for the booth at Boyal Primary School because she apprehended that some of her ‘loyal’ voters were not being allowed inside the same.
On reaching the instant booth at Boyal, she started shooting a barrage of pointed questions at Tripathy, demanding why there were so many people within 200 metres of the booth, even when the same was not permitted as per EC norms. IPS Tripathi replied that he had personally checked the booth and found everything to be in order. On hearing his reply, the CM was visibly irked and stated ‘ No use. You all ask the miscreants to move away when the officers and observers arrive’.
The CM nonchalantly replied that all such uniforms are stained. However, Tripathy replied that he won’t let that happen and assured her that everything is in order.
IPS Tripathi’s comment ‘I won’t let my uniform be stained (Ei pore daag nebo na)’ looking the CM straight in the eye has not only earned him respect but has given the vast populace of Bengal a sense of hope amidst despair, that the future of the state may not be all that bleak, maybe he is the harbinger of the good times that await Bengal, maybe a change for the better is after all possible.
His comment on that day has become an iconic comment and is on everyone’s lips. For the first time, in years, we got to hear and see real bravado or real-time brave comment from a real policeman not a filmy one, in Bengal. This should be a lesson for all the men in uniform to emulate.
Reported independently by Ranita Chandra
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