A group of local residents in West Bengal’s Kolkata stormed a police station andassaulted a policeman after he arrested three men for drinking in public, prompting authorities to crack down on the attackers.
The assault on the constable inside the Tollygunge police station in south Kolkata late on Sunday turned into a major embarrassment for the administration on Monday when a video, showing some men and women repeatedly slapping and heckling the man, surfaced. The videos show him being shoved around the police station.
The constable, who was not named by the administration, had arrested three men who were drinking on a public road near Rabindra Sarovar. A fourth man managed to escape on his motorcycle. They were arrested after 10pm on Sunday.
After the constable returned to the police station and booked the alleged culprits, people from the slum where the men live, stormed the police station and attacked the policeman for making the arrests. Some even threw stones at the station.
The crowd, which reportedly came from the Chetla area, left after midnight. The arrested men were released on bail on Monday afternoon.
The administration took note of the incident and ordered the arrest of those who assaulted the constable. A case was registered almost 12 hours after the incident and raids started on Monday night. Efforts were made to identify the offenders from the footage captured by security cameras.
“We have identified the offenders. Action is being taken. A report will be submitted to the commissioner of police,” said joint commissioner of police, Muralidhar Sharma.
Ever since West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee ordered a crackdown on traffic offenders, especially motorcyclists, the city police have tightened vigilance and patrolling has become a regular affair at night.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh criticised the force for not being able to protect themselves.
“The incident has once again exposed the helplessness of policemen in Bengal. They need paramilitary forces for their own security. A few years ago we saw another police station coming under attack,” Ghosh said.
The BJP leader was referring to the mob attack on the Alipore police station in 2014.
In November that year, slum dwellers from the same Chetla area stormed the Alipore police station after a local Trinamool Congress leader was detained by the police. A video clip, showing a junior police officer hiding under a table, went viral on social media after the incident.
Aug 13, 2019 10:32 IST