The sleepy 14th Calcutta Film Festival was jolted by one tight slap on Friday morning — from an enraged woman to a shellshocked cop — that landed a young couple behind bars for a few hours.
Amitava and Chayanika Chakrabarty of Dhakuria were rushing in for a 9am show at Nandan — he with a laptop and she with a cellphone and two delegate cards — when they were stopped by a constable from the Special Branch.
“You cannot enter with the laptop,” the constable told Amitava, an architect with a multinational firm, pointing out the security norms printed at the back of the delegate card. An argument broke out between the couple and the constable. In a fit of rage, Chayanika slapped the cop.
Chayanika, 34, and Amitava, 36, were charged under IPC Section 353 (assault to deter a public servant from carrying out his duty) and IPC Section 114 (abettor present when offence is committed). They were later produced in court and released on bail.
“I am very depressed and distressed. We were harassed from 9am to 8.30pm. I have been told not to discuss the matter. We will be filing a case against the police,” Chayanika told Metro late on Friday.
According to a witness, the couple had arrived minutes after the show time and were rushing into Nandan when trouble broke out. “They were screaming at me and my colleagues for trying to prevent them from entering with the laptop,” said the constable.
The couple wanted to meet the Nandan director and lodge a complaint. On being told that he wasn’t at Nandan, Chayanika told the constable to keep the laptop while they watched the film. The constable refused.
“She asked me to repeat what I had said so that she could record it on her cellphone. She was very agitated. She suddenly slapped me hard,” the cop recalled. She then broke down.