|"If jumping a traffic light is an offence, the constable also committed an offence by not recording the registration number of the vehicle and remembering what type of vehicle it was"
— Sanjay Bakshi,
The Poila Baisakh message from Sanjay Bakshi was loud and clear — I’m the boss, do what you will.
The former Trinamul Congress MLA — inadvertently referred to as “ex-councillor” in Metro on Wednesday — went on the offensive, less than 24 hours after allegedly abusing and assaulting a constable in central Calcutta, who had hauled up his driver after the vehicle jumped traffic lights.
Wednesday morning found Bakshi and Trinamul Youth Congress supporters back at the site of Tuesday’s action to block the busy Chittaranjan Avenue-Girish Park intersection for almost an hour. Police arrested one person and dispersed the mob to restore normalcy.
“Bakshi, along with 70 of his supporters, had set up a roadblock at Girish Park. One person was arrested and taken into preventive custody after he threatened to break the law again by blocking roads in future,” said deputy commissioner of police (central division) Rajiv Kumar.
“Bakshi and his supporters were protesting reports of his having slapped a 50-year-old traffic constable, Partha Banerjee,” added Kumar.
Police, however, made no attempt to arrest Bakshi, as he had “probably obtained an anticipatory bail from court”. Bakshi himself denied having obtained anticipatory bail.
On Tuesday, deputy commissioner (headquarters) H.P. Singh had said that traffic violation and assault of a public servant on duty were bailable offences.
“First, I was in a Santro, and not in a Toyota Qualis, as alleged. Second, if jumping a traffic light is an offence, the constable also committed an offence by not recording the registration number of the vehicle and remembering what type of vehicle it was,” Bakshi counter-attacked on Wednesday.
“The vehicle in question was a Santro, not a Qualis, bearing the registration number WB02-479,” Jorabagan Traffic Guard officer-in-charge Prabahan Roy clarified on Wednesday.
Bakshi, while admitting that an altercation had taken place with a constable over not stopping at the traffic signal, claimed that the matter had been settled “amicably”.
He insisted that he was “an innocent victim” of the Calcutta Police’s political bias. “It was a conspiracy hatched by the left-aligned Jorabagan Traffic Guard,” he alleged.
“I have sent a written complaint to the mayor, relating my harassment at the hands of the police. They want to tarnish his electoral campaign at this crucial juncture,” claimed Bakshi, one of Mukherjee’s campaign managers in Calcutta North West.