The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Senior ire for dutiful cop

“Let him go right now… Do not argue with me. This is my order…”

On Sunday afternoon, this message from additional officer-in-charge of Sealdah traffic guard Dilip Kumar Ghosal to South Guard traffic sergeant Amitabha Chakraborty reverberated on wireless sets — used by officers in the traffic department — across central and south Calcutta.

Ghosal was asking Chakraborty to let go of Sajal Ghosh, son of Congress leader Pradip Ghosh.

Barely 15 minutes earlier, Sajal — riding a motorcycle down Park Street minus a helmet — was stopped by Chakraborty. As the on-duty officer asked Sajal to cough up a fine of Rs 100 for not wearing a helmet, the son of the Congress leader lost his cool.

“You do not know me. You will have to face dire consequences for this,” he reportedly shouted at the sergeant.

Unfazed, Chakraborty asked him to produce his licence and the pollution certificate of the vehicle, which Sajal failed to do.

Then Chakraborty asked: “Don’t you know the traffic rules'” Enough to push a leader’s son — himself a young Congress leader — to flaunt his connections.

“I will teach you a lesson today,” Sajal allegedly shouted at the sergeant, before fishing out his cellphone and calling up Ghosal. After complaining of “harassment” at the hands of the sergeant, Sajal asked the additional officer-in-charge to intervene.

When Ghoshal sought to speak to Chakraborty, Sajal tried to hand over the cellphone to the sergeant, who refused to take the call.

Within minutes, Ghoshal reached Chakraborty, but over the wireless network and asked him to let go of Sajal immediately. Chakraborty tried to explain the situation, but Ghoshal was not interested in listening to the officer of his force.

Chakraborty had no option but to allow Sajal to leave.

“I told you several times, but you did not listen. Now, I will ensure a transfer for you,” were the parting words from Sajal, as he vroomed off on his two-wheeler.

No case was lodged, as Sajal is the son of a VIP, and Chakraborty reported his humiliation to the traffic control room at Lalbazar.

Sajal, contacted by Metro, denied the incident.

It being a Sunday, the plight of a dutiful officer probably did not reach the senior officers. But as Ghoshal barked his order on the police network, sergeants and other policemen heard how a junior officer was admonished. “This is bad for the morale of the force,” observed a sergeant.

Neither Jawed Shamim, deputy commissioner (traffic) nor Prasun Mukherjee, commissioner of police, were available for comment.

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