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Rioting case but Arabul not quizzed

Arabul addresses a Trinamul meeting on Monday in Ghatakpukur, 10km from Kantatala where Mollah was attacked on Sunday. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

Calcutta, Jan. 7: Police are yet to interrogate Arabul Islam, who allegedly led a group that assaulted CPM leader Abdur Rezzak Mollah yesterday, despite slapping a case of rioting on the former Bhangar MLA.

A police officer said they have registered an FIR under sections 147, 148 and 149 of the IPC against Arabul, all of which relate to “rioting with deadly weapons”.

“We are doing everything necessary in the case,” said K.P. Barui, the additional superintendent of police, South 24-Parganas, when asked why Arabul was not being questioned.

Senior officers of the state police directorate, however, said that in cases of “rioting with deadly weapons”, the investigating officer should first interrogate the accused. “This is necessary to find out the weapon — or weapons — used in rioting,” a police officer said in Writers’.

He added that unless a weapon was found, it would be difficult to justify in court why the case of rioting was slapped on the accused.

Mollah’s driver Amar Ghosh lodged an FIR at the Calcutta Leather Complex police station yesterday. Arabul and eight others have been named but the complaint mentions 26 other people, whose names were not given.

An officer at the police station said arresting Arabul was “not mandatory”. “But he should be interrogated at least.”

He added: “Unless the accused are interrogated, how will the police find the weapons used?” “Once the weapons are recovered, the accused would have to be produced in court under sections 25 and 27 of the Evidence Act.”

A lawyer said: “Section 149 is non-bailable. In such cases, immediate arrest is not mandatory. The police generally arrest the accused after preliminary investigations that involve interrogation,” said Rabishankar Chatterjee, who practises in Calcutta High Court.

Today, a counter case of rioting was drawn up following a complaint by Bimal Naskar, the Trinamul panchayat pradhan of Beota I block in South 24-Parganas, accusing Mollah and others of attacking Arabul and Trinamul workers with choppers.

Arabul today addressed a Trinamul rally at Ghatakpukur, about 10km from Kantatala where Mollah was attacked yesterday.