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Police denied custody of rogue cop

Tarak Das in Alipore court on Monday. (Bibhash Lodh)

Suspended constable Tarak Das, who was arrested on Sunday after a month on the run, was sent to judicial custody on Monday as the government lawyer failed to convince the magistrate that the police needed him for interrogation.

Das’s lawyer argued that there’s no medical evidence to back the strongest charge against him: attempt to murder.

“Tarak Das has been falsely slapped with severe charges like attempt to murder. The complaint states that he had tried to strangle a youth near Baghajatin station on the night of February 1. But the victim’s medical report mentions no strangulation marks,” lawyer Gopal Halder said. “When the complainant’s medical report does not corroborate his allegation, there is no point of accusing my client of such a serious offence.”

The public prosecutor opposed the bail plea, calling Das “a habitual offender”. “He has been arrested before and committed the crime while on bail. The police need to interrogate him thoroughly. In view of his criminal antecedents, Das should be remanded in police custody,” he submitted.

The magistrate, however, remanded Das in judicial custody and asked the police to submit the case diary on March 6. Das will be in Alipore jail till March 15.

Das, who had been suspended twice in three months, allegedly assaulted a few Trinamul activists in Baghajatin on February 1 while they were distributing copies of the party mouthpiece. A preliminary probe revealed that the activists had protested Das’s efforts to fill up ponds.

Das was known to be a Trinamul activist when he was first suspended in April 2013 for his alleged role in ransacking a CPM office in Patuli. He had also assaulted journalists during a strike called by Left parties in February 2012.

The suspended policeman faces five cases, including attempt to murder, and four departmental inquiries. He was brought to Alipore court in a police vehicle around 1pm and lodged in lock-up.