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Rogue cops face Sec. 304 chargesheet

The detective department has set itself a mid-February deadline for submitting a chargesheet against the five constables who battered sergeant Bapi Sen. Deputy commissioner, detective department, Soumen Mitra, said his sleuths were “putting the final touches to the chargesheet”.

“We are framing the charges and are in the last stage of reviewing the evidence. We will submit the chargesheet in court shortly,’’ he said.

The five constables, now in jail custody, had battered Bapi Sen for protesting their harassment of a girl and her companion in central Calcutta on the last night of 2002. A senseless Bapi was taken to CMRI, where he died on January 6. The rogue quintet, of the reserve force of the city police, was arrested.

Sources in the detective department said senior sleuths had “more or less” decided to book the constables under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code, and not under Section 302. The latter Section deals with culpable homicide amounting to murder, while Section 304 is culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The maximum punishment in both cases is life imprisonment.

“It will be difficult to frame charges under Section 302, as Bapi’s was not a planned murder with a motive,’’ a senior detective explained. “The evidence collected so far, including the statements of nine witnesses, clearly favours framing of charges under Section 304. We will present our arguments to the deputy commissioner at the review meeting next week. He will take a final decision,’’ the sleuth added.

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