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Ex-MLA urinates on lady & minister

Malda, Aug. 27: A former CPM legislator grabbed a la- dy army officer on Darjeeling Mail last night and apparently urinated on her.

A couple of hours before, a sloshed Prakash Minj allegedly took a leak on civil defence minister Srikumar Mukherjee, who was also in the AC II-tier coach.

The minister called police, but did not file a complaint. Major Minta P. Devgan did.

The four-time MLA from Phansidewa was pulled out of the train at Malda station.

Amal Sinha, a contractor accompanying him, was also arrested. But they were released on bail later.

Major Devgan and her husband, Colonel Pankaj Devgan, who were travelling together, are both posted in Calcutta. In the complaint they filed with Government Railway Police in Malda, Minj was accused of “outraging her modesty”.

Mukherjee saw Minj grappling with the woman. His security guard said he saw him have a pee while holding her.

“It was nearly 11pm when I found a drunk man sitting on my berth. He identified himself as a CPM MLA,” Mukherjee said.

The guard, Mohammad Sofi, who was called to escort Minj back to his berth, said he urinated in the minister’s coupe.

A while later, Mukherjee heard a woman shouting for help. He saw the former MLA with his arms around a woman in blue jeans and white T-shirt. “I could see her struggling and rushed to pull him away,” said the CPI leader.

Col Devgan jumped from his berth to the rescue of his wife. Although the entire compartment was awake in minutes, it took half an hour to subdue Minj. By that time, the train had pulled into Malda station and the minister asked his guard to call the police.

Sofi said Minj was hurling abuses at the minister. “The man said the minister was from a minor constituent of the Left Front while he belonged to the ruling party,” Sofi said.

Swapan Dasgupta, the inspector in charge of the Government Railway Police at Malda, confirmed that Minj was drunk.

In the railway police lock-up this morning, Minj and Sinha were seen polishing off a plate of rice and curry.

The party dropped Minj as an MLA candidate last year. He declined comment.

Sinha said: “I consumed alcohol and went to sleep. I don’t remember anything untoward happening on the train.”

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