The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Once beaten, twice VIP shy
- Bhujbal secretary’s son charges state police with assault

Burdwan, May 21: Last time, a couple posing as relatives of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had pulled a fast one on them.

Today, wary of being taken for another ride, police allegedly beat up the son of the private secretary of Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal after he complained that he was mugged by two youths here this morning.

Santosh Patil had arrived in Burdwan yesterday to secure orders for his business of supplying electrical goods. As it was late, he stayed back at the GRP office at the station. This morning, he set out to look for a hotel.

About 2 km from the Burdwan police station, two youths accosted him. “After I was robbed of Rs 5,000, my walkman, watch and suitcase, I went to the police station where an assistant sub-inspector refused to record my complaint. When I insisted, he slapped me, called me a liar and shoved me out,” Santosh said.

Speaking in his hotel room here, Santosh said he then called up his father Balaji Patil.

“My father gave me the phone numbers of the Bengal director-general of police and the police superintendent. I could contact neither but I spoke to the additional police superintendent, headquarters, S.S. Dutta, who advised me to return to the police station,” Santosh said.

But he was in for more shock, he claimed, when he went back. “The sub-inspector in charge, .K. Mondal, started beating me up as soon as I entered the police station,” Santosh alleged. “He was yelling at me, telling me that I had not done the right thing by complaining to the additional police superintendent.”

Santosh said he then got hold of the chief minister’s telephone number and called him up. “The chief minister told me he had got a fax message from my father. He listened to what I had to go through, then told me to go to the GRP office,” Santosh claimed.

Santosh said six policemen escorted him to the hotel after he went back to the GRP office. “I want to return to Calcutta and meet the chief minister as he has asked me to do,” Santosh said.

The district police are trying to hush up the episode. The additional police superintendent said Santosh was mugged but refused to comment on what followed. District magistrate Manoj Agarwal confirmed the mugging, but said he had not received any report on the man’s identity. The police, he added, have lodged a case of assault and theft.

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