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Assault cry against tainted cop

Suspended Calcutta police constable Tarak Das allegedly assaulted some Trinamul activists who had protested attempts to fill up ponds in Baghajatin.

Das, known as a tough and a Trinamul supporter, allegedly sent his men again on Sunday to beat up the activists who spoke to reporters against him.

Two cases have been registered at Patuli police station against Das, including an attempt-to-murder one in connection with the alleged assault on Saturday night.

Das had been attached to Metiabruz police station when he was first suspended for allegedly attacking a CPM office in Patuli and assaulting journalists during a strike by Left parties in February 2012.

He was given a clean chit in April. The day he rejoined duty, he allegedly hit a promoter with the butt of a revolver.

He was suspended again and arrested. Das is out on bail but departmental proceedings are pending against him.

As for the Saturday night complaint, the police said Das and others turned up on Baghajatin Railway Station Road when four Trinamul men were distributing copies of the party mouthpiece around 9.30pm.

“Das, accompanied by local Trinamul leader Mrityunjay Mandal and four others, attacked us with lathis and rained fists and blows on us. They threatened us not to raise our voice against filling up of ponds in the locality,” alleged Sudip Pal, who suffered a fracture on the skull.

Pal and his fellow activists Sandip Das, Suman Dey and Babloo Halder lodged a complaint with Patuli police station on Saturday night. Residents said the group had been holding street-corner meetings over the past two months to protest landfill, which they said was rampant in the area.

As news of the alleged attack spread, reporters got in touch with Pal and others and their statements were aired on TV channels. “Das again sent his men, led by Mandal, who assaulted us. We lodged another complaint,” said Pal.

The police said they were carrying out raids to arrest Das.

Police sources said Pal and his associates, who joined Trinamul from the CPM, also protested alleged extortion by the suspended cop in the Patuli-Baghajatin area.

“Das is known in the area as a rogue. In December, he had hit a 56-year-old man with a revolver butt in the crowded Patuli market,” said an officer of Patuli police station.