BASUDEB BAG, superintendent of police, North 24-Parganas, met residents of the district at Doltala police headquarters to answer their queries. Participants included Diptimoy Ghosh, Basudeb Chowdhury, Benoy Mukherjee, Kallol Dasgupta, Tanmoy Mondal, Raja Das, Angshuman Maity, Arabinda Das, Subhasis Chakraborty, Madhavi Ghosh, Sudipta Bhattacharjee, Sabita Biswas and Srijit Biswas
Diptimoy Ghosh: What is the total area and population you have to look after' What is the number of police stations'
North 24-Parganas is a very complex district. It measures about 3,400 sq km, with a population of a crore-plus. Moreover, the district borders Bangladesh. We have 36 police stations, apart from some investigation centres and police outposts.
Diptimoy Ghosh: Recently, action was taken against two policemen caught taking a bribe. The move was appreciated by all. But in most cases, errant policemen go unchecked.
It should be remembered that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. So, a police officer cannot expect immunity from law. We are aware that some policemen are not performing their duties properly. If any complaint is made, we take action according to the merit of the case.
Diptimoy Ghosh: Sometimes, the police plead helplessness in taking action because of political intervention.
The force is a law-enforcing agency. If it wants to take any step, it cannot be stopped. And political leaders are representatives of the people. I donít think they can interfere in investigations. It can never be that an officer cannot act if he wants to.
Diptimoy Ghosh: Even after repeated complaints, the police did not carry out an eviction drive at Sweeperpatty, off Salt Lake Cityís AL Block. As a result, criminal activities, like sale of country liquor and petty thefts and snatching, continue.
I shall ask the police station concerned and the additional superintendent of police to look into the AL Block problems. Our aim is to offer a peaceful existence to everybody.
Diptimoy Ghosh: I feel the infrastructure of the force at the lower level should be developed. Recently, I saw some officers waiting with two prisoners in a crowded place for a vehicle to take them to the court.
You are right. Our present set-up is inadequate.
Basudeb Chowdhury: Sometimes, officers at a police station refuse to make a note of our complaints. In such a case, what does one do'
This is a distressing situation. If anyone faces such a situation, he may approach the higher officers, including me, for redressal of grievances.
Basudeb Chowdhury: Women and girls feel insecure at Shastri Bagan, in Baguiati, because of some drunken youths. At times, these youths fight among themselves, making the situation worse. Canít they be collared'
You may contact the local police station or, if necessary, the higher authorities for action.
Kallol Dasgupta: I am a lawyer. Sometimes, my clients complain that the local police station is not cooperating with them. In such a situation, what can they do'
Actually, every police station is supposed to cooperate with everybody and take diaries. But sometimes, there are some officers who behave in an exceptional way. In this regard, I shall advise everybody to approach the sub-divisional officer without hesitation, if the officer in charge of the local police station does not cooperate.
Tanmoy Mondal: I am the local MLA of Rajarhat. Recently, a dispute arose over the construction of a wall. To solve such a problem, whom does one approach'
At first, the site will be inspected by the men of the Block Land Revenue Officer to ascertain where the wall was constructed. Then, after getting his report, the court will direct the local police station to visit the site and furnish a report. Subsequently, action will be taken.