The Kolkata Police on Tuesday arrested four people, including two women, from a slum in south Kolkata for allegedly storming the local Tollygunge police station and thrashing a constable on Sunday night. The accused were remanded in police custody till August 17.
The women, Purnima Das and Putul Naskar, allegedly led the attack shortly after Bimal Das, the constable, arrested three youths on charges of unruly behaviour and drinking alcohol in a public place.
Till Tuesday evening, police conducted several raids to nab the other suspects seen in the footage of security cameras. “At least 40 people stormed the police station. Many of them were smelling of alcohol,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.
The incident exposed the ruling Trinamool Congress to bitter criticism. Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including its state president Dilip Ghosh, alleged that chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s administration has failed to empower those who are supposed to protect common people.
The troublemakers are Trinamool Congress supporters and enjoy the protection of the party’s local leaders, BJP leaders alleged. Local TMC leaders alleged that the BJP engineered the attack to malign the administration.
The assault on the police constable turned into a major embarrassment for the administration when a video, showing some men and women slapping and heckling the constable, surfaced.
“The attack on policemen is deplorable. The government will not be tolerate this and the guilty will not be spared. But the BJP has no right to point fingers since it has set no bright example in law enforcement in the states it rules,” education minister Partha Chatterjee said.
Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim, too, attacked the BJP for making an issue out of the incident.
Ever since 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 youths arrested on Sunday night had motorcycles.
After Bimal Das returned to the police station and booked the alleged culprits, people from the slum where the youths live, stormed the police station and slapped the constable repeatedly. Another police personnel and two civic volunteers were also injured.
The videos showed Das being shoved around the police station premises. Some youths also threw stones at the building. The crowd left after midnight. The arrested youths were released on bail on Monday afternoon.
The administration took note of the incident and ordered arrest of the attackers. A case was registered almost 12 hours after the incident and the raids started on Monday night. The police operation was monitored by joint commissioner of police Muralidhar Sharma.
“The incident has once again exposed the helplessness of policemen in Bengal. They need paramilitary forces for their own security,” Dilip Ghosh said on Monday.
In November 2014, 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 after the incident.
Aug 13, 2019 23:37 IST