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Cop probe in slo-mo

Departmental proceedings against suspended constable Tarak Das, who allegedly hit a man with a revolver butt in a crowded market in Patuli on Sunday, remain pending nearly two years after his suspension.

Das, known to be a Trinamul Congress supporter, was suspended twice in three months — first for allegedly attacking a CPM office in Patuli and assaulting journalists in February 2012 and then in April for allegedly attacking a promoter.

At present, Das draws half his salary because he is under suspension. More severe action can be taken against him only if the departmental proceedings, the outcome of which is pending, find him guilty. A repeat offender can be dismissed from service.

“Action can be taken against a repeat offender of the rank of constable either by the DC of the division where he is posted or by senior cops at Lalbazar. But it seems no one is interested in reining in the rogue constable even at the cost of the force’s reputation,” said a police officer not attached to Calcutta police.

A senior officer in the port division, where Das was last posted and where the inquiry is pending, said action would be taken only after the departmental proceedings are wrapped up.

Three months is the average time taken to complete departmental proceedings, officers said. It has been 20 months since Das was suspended.

After the first suspension, Das was given a clean chit in a departmental inquiry by a senior police officer.

The suspension was lifted but the very day Das returned to office he allegedly got involved in an attack on a promoter. He was suspended again and the proceedings against him are pending.

“The proceedings are in the last stage,” said a senior police officer.