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Guddu axe on three cops

Calcutta, Jan. 5: Three policemen were suspended today after senior police officers visited the Palm Avenue home of Mir Amirul Islam alias Guddu and assured his family that robbery charges against the youth who committed suicide would be dropped.

The trio — two sub-inspectors and a constable — had been benched yesterday following a complaint of abetting suicide by Guddu’s relatives. The action was taken following a report joint commissioner (organisation) Tripurari submitted to city police commissioner R.K. Pachnanda.

Guddu, who was in his twenties, had set himself on fire last month to protest the police’s alleged reluctance to register a woman’s complaint of rape and “efforts” to “frame” him for mobilising public opinion against the prime accused — Shahzada.

A section in the police force believes that today’s moves were aimed at “controlling the damage” caused by the police’s handling of the case.

“Allegations that the police did not start a rape case on time and slapped false charges on Guddu have maligned the force. The decision to drop the charges could restore the people’s faith in the police,” an officer said.

Officers said the Mamata Banerjee government had taken prompt action because it did not want a repetition of the Rizwanur Rahman case. The Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government had been accused of dragging its feet on allegations against the police in that case.

Tripurari, deputy commissioner of police (southeast division) Debabrata Das and deputy commissioner of police (fifth battalion) Imran Wahab visited Guddu’s home and questioned his parents and siblings. They also spoke to the minor rape victim and her mother at Guddu’s home.

“The officers admitted that the robbery charge was false and would be dropped from the original complaint,” said Guddu’s brother Anwar Izhar.

The officers did not speak to the media.

The wife of main accused Shahzada had brought charges of ransacking and robbery against Guddu.

Sources said the probe report by Tripurari mentioned that the first complaint of the victim, which was lodged in October, was of molestation. The second complaint, by her mother on November 6, was of rape.

The probe report mentions that the investigating officer had delayed amending the molestation charge to that of rape, the sources said. Almost a month separates the filing of the second complaint and the registration of the rape case. The change was done on December 4, a day after Guddu set himself on fire.

Police officers handling the case have apparently cited “problems in getting court dates” as the reason for the delay.

Junior central minister Deepa Das Munshi has called for a CBI probe into the allegations of delay.