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Cop thrashed on court campus

- lawyers charged with assault on police officer

Malda, Oct. 5: The premises of the chief judicial magistrate’s court plunged into chaos today when a police officer was allegedly heckled and thrashed by around 100 lawyers as he came to appear in connection with a case in which he was the main accused.

The lawyers unleashed the attack when they reportedly found that the sub inspector of Habibpur police station had come to the court in uniform with the case diary.

The advocates said the case diary should have been carried by another officer who was investigating the charge against sub inspector Kajal Chatterjee.

Chatterjee was also kept confined to the court inspector’s room for nearly two hours before being rescued by Englishbazar police. He filed an FIR with the Englishbazar police against some lawyers. The Malda Bar Association lodged a counter-complaint, accusing the sub inspector of snatching money and sexually harassing lady advocates.

The co-president of the bar association, Debkishor Majumdar, said the charges brought against the lawyers by the officer were false.

“The sub inspector of Habibpur police station is the prime accused in a case. On September 14, an accused in an incident of clash that had taken place in a Habibpur village, Kumud Mondal, came to the CJM court and lawyer Tirtha Basu moved for his bail,” said Majumdar.

Basu said even before the hearing could be held, Chatterjee had taken Mondal to the Habibpur police station. “We drew the court’s attention to the matter and judge Debashis Biswas ordered the police to produce he in court within 24 hours.”

He said Chatterjee had brought Mandal to the court the next day. Mondal’s father, Pramatha, filed a complaint before the CJM on the same day, accusing Chatterjee and three other police officers of abducting his son from the court premises, snatching Rs 20,000 and a mobile phone from him and beating him up. The court asked the Habibpur police to treat the complaint as an FIR,” said Basu.

Inspector in charge of Habibpur Atreyee Sen, and Purnendu Mukherjee and Subir Sarkar, the officer in charge and sub inspector of Bamungola police station respectively, were the other three named in the complaint.

Sources said Mukherjee and Sarkar had been implicated as the two were allegedly present at the Habibpur police station when Mondal was taken there. Abhijit Saha, the circle inspector of Gajole police station, which has jurisdiction over Habibpur and Bamungola stations, was investigating the case against the police officers.

According to Majumdar, Saha brought Chatterjee to the court today to submit the case diary. “Some of our lawyers spotted Chatterjee in uniform on the court premises and he was carrying the case diary. When the advocates protested, the officer abused them and molested a woman advocate. When other lawyers tried to resist, the SI beat them up also. He snatched money from some lawyers,” said the co-president of the bar association.

But Chatterjee said in his complaint that he had come to the court in connection with a different case. “At that time, Kumud Mondal’s lawyer, Tirtha Basu, and the co-president of the Malda Bar Association and over a hundred lawyers surrounded me and started pushing me around. They forced me into the court inspector’s room and confined me there. They beat me up and pushed me out of the room. The lawyers also tried to snatch my cellphone and Rs 1,300 that I had with me,” said the sub inspector of Habibpur police station.

He mentioned all these charges in an FIR filed with the Englishbazar police. Tirtha Basu, Debkishor Majumdar and other lawyers were named in the FIR.

Chatterjee was rescued by the inspector in charge of Englishbazar police station, Jawaharjyoti Roy, around noon.

Malda police chief, Jayanta Pal, has asked the deputy police superintendent (discipline and training), Haripada Shee, to conduct an inquiry into today’s incident. “We are looking into both the complaints,” said Pal.

The violence didn’t affect the functioning of the court.