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Top cop deposes for campus rampage

Police commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha deposed before the state human rights commission on Thursday in connection with vandalism at Presidency University last April.

“The police commissioner had been summoned as part of the ongoing hearing in the case. We have asked him to submit a report within three weeks stating whether anyone from the police force has been found negligent in his duty (in connection with the incident),” said retired Supreme Court justice Asok Kumar Ganguly, the chairman of the rights commission.

The panel had ordered a suo motu probe a day after a group of youths carrying Trinamul Congress flags had invaded the university campus on April 10. They had assaulted some students, attacked the physics (MSc first-year) laboratory at Baker Building and damaged equipment.

The vandalism apparently occurred in the presence of policemen outside the campus.

Sources in the state human rights commission said the top cop, accompanied by Jorasanko police station officer-in-charge Siddhartha Dutta and a sub-inspector from the police station, deposed before the rights panel at its Bhabani Bhavan office on Thursday afternoon.

The deposition lasted 20 minutes.

“Next, we will ask the registrar of the university to depose and also summon two constables of Jorasanko police station,” Justice Ganguly added.

No departmental action has yet been taken against any cop who was on duty outside the university that day, despite allegations of a partisan role played by the police in not taking immediate action against the accused because of their political affiliation.

Sources in the city police headquarters said a senior officer of the rank of additional commissioner of police would prepare a report to be submitted before the rights commission.

Earlier, the human rights commission had appointed Amal Mukhopadhyay, who had been a principal at the erstwhile Presidency College, to lead the probe into the vandalism.

The report mentioned that “outsiders” carrying Trinamul flags had barged into the campus.

Arrested

Officers of the detective department arrested a 32-year-old man in Nodakhali, South 24-Parganas, for allegedly impersonating a lawyer and duping a bereaved couple of their jewellery and cash two months ago.

Police said Subrata Banerjee, the accused, had studied law for a year.