Malda, Oct. 20: Two National Volunteer Force guards at the Sadullapur police camp in Malda were taken off duty on after a complaint by a lady doctor that they had refused to help her following an attempt by motorbike-borne youths to allegedly molest her yesterday.
A constable at the camp was also suspended for proceeding on leave without permission.
The 26-year-old doctor was driving to work in Malda when she was chased by two motorbike-borne men. When she got off her car to protest, the men snatched her cellphone and purse. They also grabbed the woman by the arms and began dragging her towards the bike.
The incident took place in front of the Sadullapur police camp, 10km from Malda town. The camp falls under the Englishbazar police station.
The doctor complained at the Englishbazar police station that none of the law enforcers present at the camp yesterday had come to her help.
Local people managed to catch hold of the two men, Firoz Sheikh, 34, and Ajit Shiekh, 35, and thrashed them before handing them over to the police.
Today, Malda police superintendent, Kalyan Mukherjee, visited the Sadullapur camp and spoke to the two NVF members about yesterday’s incident. He also went to the house of the doctor and spoke to her.
After the visit, Mukherjee said out of the three men posted at the camp, only two were on duty yesterday. “The police constable was on leave without permission. We have placed the constable, Ignius Tudu, under suspension. We have taken off duty two NVF members present at the camp, Ramananda Mondol and Haridas Mondol, pending an investigation. Their role in yesterday’s incident is being investigated,” said the district police chief.
The woman, a school health medical officer, had alleged the men on duty at the camp had refused to help her when she went there to complain.
The medical officer lives with her father near Malda.
Mukherjee said from now on, four armed policemen would be posted at the Sadullapur camp. “We will post four armed policemen from the Englishbazar police station at the camp and they will be monitored by a sub-inspector from the police station. I have given an instruction that the area be patrolled frequently during day and night.”
After the incident had taken place around noon yesterday, irate local people blocked the Mothabari-Malda state highway for two hours. The mob also threw stones at the police camp while protesting against the incident. The inspector in charge of the Englishbazar police station, Dilip Karmakar, reached the spot around 2pm and took the two youths into custody.
Tahirul Islam, the Malda district president of the Association of School Health Medical Officers, said yesterday’s incident would be discussed at meeting of the body soon.
“We are going to convene a meeting in a day or two and discuss the incident and its implications. Yesterday’s incident was alarming and we are concerned about the safety of our colleagues, especially that of women. We will also meet the police superintendent demanding better security for all of us,” he said.