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HC push for Anubrata action

Reddy and Mondal

Calcutta, April 7: Calcutta High Court today directed Bengal police director-general G.M.P. Reddy to take action against Birbhum Trinamul president Anubrata Mondal by April 10 for his provocative speech that preceded the murder of a Trinamul dissident’s father by suspected party activists.

Justice Dipankar Dutta, who had on April 2 admonished the DGP for requesting that he be relieved of the duty of probing the murder case, today passed the order after seeing the video footage of the public meeting in which the Birbhum Trinamul chief made the comments.

Mondal had delivered a speech on July 17 last year in which he had told Trinamul workers to “burn down” houses of party dissidents contesting as Independents and “hurl bombs” at policemen if they came to the rescue.

The judge today asked government pleader Ashok Banerjee: “How can a politician take the law in his own hands? Virtually, he had violated the law and challenged the authority of the police. Why have the police failed to take action against this leader in the past eight months? Why was he not prosecuted for making these comments?”

Banerjee said that Reddy had “taken steps” after seeing the edited version of the CD of Mondal’s speech. The government pleader told Justice Dutta that the judge had seen the unedited version on two CDs given to the court by two electronic media houses.

“Okay, ask the DGP to produce the edited CD tomorrow. I will also see it,” the judge said.

Justice Dutta was hearing the case on Sagar Ghosh’s murder, which took place at Parui on July 21, days after Mondal’s speech. Sagar Ghosh’s son Hriday, who had unsuccessfully contested the rural polls as an Independent, had alleged that Trinamul activists, provoked by Mondal’s speech, had attacked his house and killed his father.

Mondal and 40 other Trinamul leaders and workers were named in the FIR.

Prodded by the Election Commission, the Birbhum district administration had show-caused Mondal. It later lodged an FIR against the Trinamul leader after his reply failed to satisfy the poll panel.

Sagar Ghosh’s family moved the high court early this year demanding a CBI probe. The judge had on February 14 constituted a special investigating team for probing the case under the supervision of Reddy.

But the DGP also failed to take action against Mondal and instead requested the judge to release him from the responsibility of probing the case. This had prompted the judge to come down heavily on Reddy. Justice Dutta had also told the government pleader that he would hand over the case to the CBI.

Today, government pleader Banerjee handed over a sealed envelope to the judge and said: “The DG has expressed his sorrow. He is busy. He will surely take action if the court gives him a few days’ time.”

“Let us hope and trust the DGP will take action against the accused by Thursday. I will hear the case on Thursday and take action,” said Justice Dutta, who had translated into English the Bengali statements of witnesses for Reddy, who hails from Karnataka.

Banerjee then asked: “Do you want Mondal to be arrested?”

“I am saying nothing. It is the discretion of DGP. I am asking him to take legal action against the accused,” the judge replied.