The beacon-fitted Chevrolet Beat in which a man tried to flee after allegedly molesting a woman. Picture by Bibhash Lodh
The driver of a Trinamul MLA used a beacon-fitted car allegedly belonging to the legislator to run away from a Garia neighbourhood where he had been accused of molesting a woman and hurling a brick at a man on Saturday night.
Debdas Saha was finally arrested and granted bail.
The grey Chevrolet Beat, the beacon flashing atop, was racing down an empty Raja SC Mullick Road around 10.45pm when it came to a halt at a blockade by residents near Ganguly Bagan to protest “rash driving and lax traffic policing”.
“The man at the wheel came out of the car and introduced himself as Debdas Saha, Deganga (North 24-Parganas) MLA M. Nuruzzaman’s driver. He said the car belonged to the MLA before narrating how a group of people had beaten him up near Garia Bazar (Kavi Nazrul) Metro station,” said a police officer present on the spot.
The beacon and the host of badges on the dashboard convinced the cops that the car belonged to “someone important.”
Believing his version, the cops asked Saha to accompany them to Patuli police station and lodge a complaint against the attackers.
“However, on reaching the police station, we found that a woman and a man had turned up to lodge a complaint of molestation and attack against Saha. They knew the accused as all are residents of the Pranabananda Road area in Garia,” the officer added.
Saha was immediately arrested and charged with outrage of modesty and voluntarily causing hurt.
“He will be prosecuted under the motor vehicles act if it is found during the investigation that he had misused the beacon,” said a senior officer of the south suburban division.
Asked whether an MLA is entitled to use a beacon on his car, the officer said: “It is subject to investigation.”
Nuruzzaman could not be contacted despite several attempts.
The post of MLA does not figure on the list of persons eligible to use a beacon or a beacon with flasher on his/her car. The high court has ordered the police to take action against those found guilty of beacon misuse.
The police later found that trouble broke out a few metres from New Garia Metro station around 10.30pm on Saturday, when members of Bandhab Samity, a club in the neighbourhood, asked Saha to remove the car.
“We could not close the club’s gate as the MLA’s car was parked right in front of it. When we asked him to remove the car, he started abusing us. He said no one could force him to leave and he had the police in his pocket,” alleged Tinku Saha, a resident of the locality.
An altercation ensued, during which Saha allegedly manhandled a woman and hit a man with a brick when they protested his highhandedness. “He molested a woman and hit a man with a brick,” Tinku Saha added.
Saha fled in the beacon-fitted car after being outnumbered.
A 23-year-old youth, Sunny, was arrested near the crossing of Diamond Harbour Road and Judges Court Road on Saturday evening for allegedly molesting a girl.
Deepak Sahoo, 30, was arrested in Rishra on Sunday morning for trying to murder Rishra Municipality councillor Bijoy Sagar Mitra on Friday. Mitra was allegedly shot at Rishra station.