The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Court slap for cop sloth

One officer-in-charge (OC) to be arrested, two to be brought to book.

The court on Friday launched a crackdown on cop inaction, with three OCs in the immediate line of fire. Their failure to maintain the rule of law drew a blistering attack from a senior high court judge.

“Are we living in a country ruled by law' If the present situation continues, a mastan raj will prevail in the near future and there will be no security to people’s lives and properties,” observed Justice Barin Ghosh of Calcutta High Court.

He was disposing of three separate, but similar, petitions regarding police inaction over complaints of “organised hooliganism” in Beniapukur, Baruipur (South 24-Parganas) and Jagaddal (North 24-Parganas).

Justice Ghosh issued an order directing the North 24-Parganas district superintendent of police to arrest the OC of Jagaddal police station and produce him before the court on March 9 for his failure to carry out an earlier court order.

In two other orders, Justice Ghosh directed Calcutta Police commissioner and South 24-Parganas district superintendent of police to “take steps against the OCs of Beniapukur and Baruipur police stations” for violating court orders.

“It is high time that the police reacted. Otherwise, the situation will spin out of control,” said Justice Ghosh, warning the South 24-Parganas police chief that he would be held solely responsible if the petitioner suffered any further loss or harassment.

One of the petitioners, Manoranjan Mitra, 70, a resident of Kholaghata, in the Baruipur police station area, alleged that a group of youths, backed by local goons, were trying to build an autorickshaw stand and some shops on his property.

Mitra moved high court after his complaint with Baruipur police station failed to evoke any response. The high court sought a report from the OC, who blamed it on the “rivalry between two parties”.

The second petitioner, Iqbal Hussain, said his shop at Beniapukur had been forcibly occupied by a local political activist, but the Beniapukur police station refused to register an FIR. The high court summoned the OC, but was not satisfied with his report.

In another petition, Sujit Mitra and Swapan Mitra, residents of Jagaddal, alleged that some influential persons of the area had occupied their house and land while they were away. The high court directed the OC to submit a report, which he failed to do.

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