The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cops turn deaf ear to abuse cry

Barasat, June 17: The chief minister's warning is taking a long time to reach police's ears.

Yesterday, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had cautioned the state's lawkeepers against misbehaving with poor people who come to lodge complaints. The same day, Kamala Mondal from Nadia and Moriom Bewa from Murshidabad were harassed at police stations.

Hours later, another woman faced the same predicament. Ruma Pal, a 21-year-old housewife from Birati on the city's northern fringes, was made to run from one police station to another to register a complaint of torture against her in-laws last night.

The woman had earlier tried to commit suicide by jumping onto the tracks at Belgharia railway station but was saved by onlookers.

She then decided to go to the police with her father Haradhan Das, but officers at Nimta, Dum Dum and Airport police stations drove them out.

Then she contacted superintendent of police Praveen Kumar, who ordered Nimta police to register her complaint.

Ruma has charged her husband Sanjit and mother-in-law Meera with physical and mental torture for dowry.

In her complaint, she said Meera would often beat her up. Last evening, she pulled out a tuft of hair from her scalp. Ruma then decided to end her life and sneaked out of the house.

'We knew our daughter's in-laws would torture her quite often. In the last 17 months of her married life, we have been paying them regularly although we had given Rs 25,000 at the time of the marriage. Last month, I went there and paid Rs 5,000 to her mother-in-law Meera. But even that was not enough,' said Ruma's father, an employee of a small-time private company.

'The officers on duty at Nimta police station said last night that the area where her in-laws live (Shaktigarh) did not come under their jurisdiction and asked us to go to Dum Dum police station,' he said.

This morning, Ruma and her parents did the rounds of Dum Dum and Airport police stations, but to no avail.

Fed up, they had decided to go home when some local youths suggested that they call up the sub-divisional police officer of Belgharia, Mehmood Akhtar. But Akhtar allegedly told them that he did not take complaints over the phone.

The family finally decided to take a last chance and got in touch with the SP, who came to their help.

'I asked the officials of Nimta police station to register the case and start an inquiry. I will check if there is any dereliction of duty on the part of any officer of Nimta police station,' Kumar said.

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