Police on Monday moved the high court seeking cancellation of Tarak Das’s bail, highlighting the fact that the suspended constable is accused of attempt-to-murder and other criminal charges.
A section of officers, however, pointed out that the petition filed by the anti-rowdy squad of the detective department serves to expose Lalbazar’s inaction in regard to Das, who has turned out to be a habitual offender.
Five police complaints, including two related to alleged murder attempts, have been lodged against Das, known in the Patuli area as a Trinamul insider, since February 2012. The last of his alleged assualts was reported on Saturday night.
As many as four departmental inquiries are pending against him, the earliest of which started in July 2013.
None of the officers at Lalbazar could explain the delay in completing the inquiries. “We have almost wrapped up the proceedings and a final decision will be taken shortly,” said an officer.
Sources said the decision to move court against Das’s bail follows an instruction from the home department to to police commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha to arrest the constable, who was suspended twice in three months last year.
The police said on Monday that they were searching for Das. “He is absconding. Both his cell phones are switched off,” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, joint commissioner of police, crime.
“The high court had granted bail to Das in April 2013 on condition that he would not enter areas under Patuli and six other police stations on the eastern and south-eastern fringes of the city. But he flouted the condition and assaulted five youths at Baghajatin on Saturday night,” said an officer of the detective department.
Residents of the Patuli-Baghajatin area, however, dubbed the police raids in search of Das an eyewash.
“He is roaming freely in our area despite the high court curb on his movements in areas under seven police stations. In December, he had hit a 56-year-old man on his head with the butt of a revolver in the crowded Patuli market,” said a youth who runs a shop near Baghajatin railway station.
“He is often seen interacting with policemen. He runs an extortion business and realtors and traders are scared of him. We doubt whether the police are at all serious in their attempt to arrest Das.”
Das was attached to Metiabruz police station when he was first suspended following his arrest in April 2013 for his alleged role in ransacking a CPM office in Patuli and assaulting journalists during a strike called by Left parties in February 2012.
He was soon out on bail and the suspension was lifted in July. The day he rejoined duty, Das allegedly hit a promoter with the butt of a revolver in Patuli.
He was suspended and arrested again. He is out on bail but departmental proceedings are pending against him.
A fresh departmental proceeding has been started against Das after he and a few others allegedly assaulted some Trinamul activists when they were distributing copies of the party’s mouthpiece in the Baghajatin area on Saturday night.
He allegedly sent his men again on Sunday to beat up the activists who spoke to reporters against him.
A preliminary probe revealed the Trinamul activists had protested Das’s efforts to fill up ponds in the locality. They were also organising a movement against an alleged extortion racket run by Das.