A rally in Karaya on Friday demanding action against cops and justice for the rape victim. (Amit Datta)
Two sub-inspectors and a constable of Karaya police station were benched on Friday following a complaint of abetment to suicide by relatives of Mir Amirul Islam alias Guddu.
Guddu, a private tutor who lived on Palm Avenue, had set himself ablaze in front of the police station on December 3 to protest alleged police reluctance to accept a rape complaint against Shahzada, a resident of Tiljala Lane, on the basis of a complaint by a minor.
Guddu, who had suffered 30 per cent burns, died on Tuesday. According to the complaint lodged by his family members on Thursday, the three cops — sub-inspectors Vinod Kumar and Ranjit Yadav and constable Nasim Khan — had been threatening him with dire consequences if he did not stop pursuing the case against Shahzada.
The complaint also mentioned the name of a retired constable, Harun Khan.
Guddu’s brother Anwar Izhar alleged: “They threatened to frame a false case against my brother if he did not stop his campaign for justice against Shahzada.”
Joint commissioner (headquarters) Jawed Shamim said: “Three policemen posted at Karaya police station have been closed. Departmental proceedings will be started against them.”
A cop who has been closed has to report to the district reserve office (in this case, the office of the deputy commissioner of the south east division) daily but is not assigned any duty. The cop, however, continues to draw his salary.
Senior officers at Lalbazar said the three cops were closed to make the probe “free and fair” as the complaint against them had been submitted to the police station where they worked.
The minor had lodged a complaint of molestation, and not rape, on October 31.
“The victim had initially said that she was ‘forcefully hugged’ and her friend — another minor — was raped by Shahzada. We had started a molestation case against Shahzada on the basis of the first girl’s statement. The second girl’s parents later submitted a written statement saying that their daughter had not been raped,” said an officer.
Shahzada was arrested on the charge of molestation on November 5 and granted bail. The next day, the first girl’s mother lodged a fresh complaint saying that her daughter had been raped.
Based on her statement, on December 4, the day after Guddu’s immolation bid outside the police station, the cops prayed to the court to replace the section on molestation slapped on Shahzada with the section on rape.
“The police are claiming that they lodged a rape complaint after the fresh complaint by the girl’s mother but what kept them waiting for a month?” asked a relative of Guddu.
Once the nature of the charge changed, Shahzada was arrested and is now in judicial custody.
Guddu was allegedly facing heat from the cops since the locality erupted following the complaint on October 31.
On the same day, Shahzada’s wife Nilofar had lodged a complaint alleging that Guddu and others had ransacked their house. “On November 23, she changed her complaint and said Guddu and others had also robbed her house,” said an officer.
Two days after Guddu was charged with dacoity and robbery, he set himself ablaze. His family members said some men who identified themselves as policemen had visited their house and threatened them a few days before.
“They said they were from Lalbazar but showed no identity card. They said if Guddu didn’t back off, he would be killed in an encounter,” said Izhar.