Constable Partha Banerjee committed two ‘mistakes’ on Tuesday. First, he stopped a gleaming Toyota Qualis that had jumped the traffic lights at a busy intersection. Then, he asked the rogue driver (seated beside a political strongman) to produce his papers.
The 50-year-old constable of the Jorabagan Traffic Guard paid for his ‘mistakes’, with alleged abuse and assault from the politician and his henchmen.
At around 1.25 pm on Tuesday, the Qualis carrying Sanjay Bakshi, former Trinamul Congress MLA, and his supporters turned a blind eye to a traffic light at the Chittaranjan Avenue-Girish Park intersection.
Banerjee, on duty at the bustling crossing since morning, ran towards the vehicle and flagged it down.
He then proceeded to reprimand the driver for the traffic offence and demanded his licence and car papers.
“Look at this creature,” the driver taunted constable Banerjee, while Bakshi and the other passengers allegedly started hurling abuses at him.
Before Banerjee could realise what was happening — but not before the constable had been warned of “dire consequences” if he dared cross their path again — the vehicle sped away.
But Bakshi and his Qualis full of supporters were not done with Banerjee yet. At around 2.30 pm, the vehicle returned to the same intersection. The driver lowered his window and beckoned at the constable.
As soon as Banerjee came within striking distance, politician Bakshi and his accomplices emerged from the vehicle and surrounded him.
After abuses and threats, Bakshi even assaulted the constable, according to Atanu Basu, additional officer-in-charge (OC), Jorabagan Traffic Guard.
“I reached the spot immediately after the incident. Constable Banerjee was taking down the registration number of the vehicle when Bakshi slapped him,” said Basu.
“He was badly shaken,” said Prabahan Roy, OC, Jorabagan Traffic Guard, to whom Banerjee reported the incident.
“He came and told me that he was doing his duty when he stopped the big car. He saw it moving at high speed through the congested road, paying no attention to the traffic signals, and decided to step in,” said Roy.
Bakshi, of course, took a very different view of the ugly incident. “I was in a Santro, and not a Qualis,” said the Trinamul leader.
“That constable, along with some others, tried to heckle us because we belong to Trinamul. There is a whiff of police conspiracy in the entire episode. We will take to the streets on Wednesday to protest the incident,” he warned.
“Separate cases have been filed against Sanjay Bakshi,” confirmed deputy commissioner of police (headquarters) H.P. Singh. “One is for traffic law violation, and the other for assaulting and obstructing a public servant on duty, under Section 186 of the Indian Penal Code. We are going to take action against Bakshi,” he added.
The constable could not be contacted, as he had left for his Bongaon home.