The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cop assault leader held

Rajarhat (North 24-Parganas), Sept. 5: Six policemen were beaten up and the windscreen of their vehicle smashed by miscreants backed by the CPM.

Yusuf Tarafdar, a key functionary of the party in the Rajarhat panchayat samiti, was arrested during last night’s assault and charged with inciting and leading a mob that beat up policemen on duty.

According to the police, trouble erupted when a mobile patrol spotted a group of drunk youths in a roadside country liquor shop at Podra, about 20 km from Calcutta. The police gave them a chase but Tarafdar appeared on the scene. Introducing himself as the “CPM leader of the area”, he apparently asked the policemen to beat a retreat. “Let the boys be,” he said.

When officer-in-charge of Rajarhat police station Paresh Paul refused to obey the diktat, the youths in the liquor den started pelting stones. A larger mob armed with bamboo sticks and stones soon surrounded the policemen. They smashed the van’s windscreen and rained blows on the vehicle. The police resorted to lathi-charge. But that infuriated the goons further. They struck back. Reinforcements from Rajarhat joined the policemen.

Tarafdar was forced into a police vehicle despite violent protests. The mob kept raining stones but the police sped away with the local leader.

Basudev Bag, the North 24-Parganas superintendent of police, said a case has been started against Tarafdar for assaulting policemen on duty. “He incited supporters. The district intelligence bureau is looking into the case,” said Bag.

Reacting to the incident of a leader of the ruling party taking on the law-enforcers, CPM leader and zilla parishad sabhadhipati Aparna Gupta said the party will not intervene if Tarafdar is found guilty. “Let the police investigate and take action.” Tarafdar was released on bail.

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