The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Police wash hands of Avijit suicide

Calcutta, Aug. 30: The Paschim Midnapore police today submitted an affidavit before Calcutta High Court saying central excise officer Avijit Sinha, who had committed suicide after being arrested for alleged Naxalite links, had accompanied them “on his own will”.

The police denied that investigators had threatened him during interrogation.

The affidavit was filed following a directive after Avijit’s wife Manasi moved high court with a case against the Paschim Midnapore police .

“Police officers questioned him in the presence of his father Ashok Sinha and father-in-law, Moloy Sinha. Investigators politely asked him about his links with the People’s War,’’ the affidavit said.

Moloy is a deputy superintendent of police in the CID and was overseeing investigations into People’s War activities in Midnapore last year.

Manasi had petitioned the court for action against the police officers who were allegedly guilty of provoking Avijit to commit suicide.

He threw himself in front of a train at Dumdum station on June 7.

The police said People’s War chief organiser Sudip Chongdar had mentioned Avijit’s links with the organisation.

According to investigators, Chongdar, arrested on multiple murder charges, had surrendered a diary to the police where Avijit’s name, telephone number and some finer points on the activities of the organisation were scribbled.

The Paschim Midnapore police had picked up Avijit from his Dumdum apartment on charges of being a People’s War sympathiser at 1 am on July 5 and took him to the Baguihati outpost.

He was later taken to the police headquarters in Midnapore for interrogation. Sinha returned on the evening of July 6 and committed suicide the next morning.

The district police have admitted that they had landed on Avijit’s house at 1 am.

“Policemen denied in the affidavit that they had misbehaved with Avijit or any of his family members. Instead, they claimed they were modest and merely confronted him with the information they had collected,’’ Rajesh Ganguly, the advocate-on-record on behalf of Moloy Sinha, said.

Paschim Midnapore police said Avijit went to the Baguihati outpost and Midnapore “on his own will”. He “was not forced nor was he tortured in Midnapore during questioning”.

Manasi’s advocate Alok Mitra said they would file a reply to the police’s affidavit on Monday. The case would come up for hearing in Justice Altamash Kabir’s court the next day.

Mitra said Moloy has denied being present when Avijit was questioned by the Paschim Midnapore police officers. “They had taken him to another room for interrogation,’’ he said.

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