The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cops take guard, Cong big shots cry off
- Town on toes over Adhir

Nov. 27: On the eve of his second date with the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) in Behrampore, Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury whiled away his time reading newspapers as the administration turned the town into a virtual fortress.

Nearly 2,000 armed policemen under the command of deputy inspectors-general of police R.S. Rawat and Debashish Roy have been stationed in Behrampore, about 200 km from Calcutta. Guards from the Rapid Action Force and the Special Combat Force have also begun patrolling the streets as senior police officers criss-crossed the 36-sq km town.

The heart of Behrampore is expected to wear a bandh-like look tomorrow ' when the Congress has lined up protest rallies ' with prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC clamped within half-a-kilometre radius of the court for the next 36 hours.

Tomorrow, all eyes will be on Chowdhury ' accused of involvement in the murders of a father and a son in July this year ' as he makes the 650-metre journey from the jail to the CJM's court.

When the MP was produced before the CJM on November 20 after his arrest in the capital the previous day, about 3,000 Congress workers had laid siege to the court. Rumours were also rife that they had plotted to take the MP away.

'We are not taking any chances tomorrow. We will not allow them to obstruct any road or come anywhere near the court,' a police officer said.

The administration has lined up three identical convoys ' each with three white Sumos and a police van. 'We are not disclosing in which of the three we will take Chowdhury to court,' said a police officer.

Calcutta High Court lawyer Milan Mukherjee and counsel Safiur Rahman from Kandi sub-division reached Behrampore this evening to appear on behalf of the MP as members of the Behrampore Bar Association are boycotting work.

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