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Murder report indicts cops
- Charges range from dying declaration lapse to bloodstain diktat

Suri, May 29: The Birbhum SP has ordered an inquiry against two police officers on the basis of a report by a special investigation team probing the Sagar Ghosh murder, a case with political overtones that the high court is monitoring.

The report has levelled several charges against the officers, including delay in admitting Sagar Ghosh, the father of a rebel Trinamul leader, to hospital and making his family wash bloodstains.

Sources said the Calcutta High Court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) had, in its report submitted to the Birbhum superintendent of police, brought the following charges against former officer in charge of Parui police station Sampad Mukherjee and investigating officer Dwijoraj Sahana:

• No dying declaration was recorded although Sagar died 36 hours after being shot.

• Delay in admitting a bullet-hit Sagar to hospital. The then OC and the investigating officer had allegedly asked Sagar’s family to take him to the local police station first. (The family refused to do so.)

• His family members were forced to wash bloodstains from the floor of his house.

• Sagar’s wife Saraswati was made to sign on a blank sheet of paper by the police in the presence of Mukherjee and Sahana after the attack on July 21.

• The police refused to take a second complaint by Sagar’s family the next day.

• Several corrections were made in the second complaint.

Both officers refused comment when this correspondent contacted them over phone today.

“I will not comment on the matter,” Mukherjee said. Sub-inspector Sahana said: “I have nothing to say. Please ask my superiors.”

According to the petition filed by Sagar’s family in the high court, the police had drawn up an FIR on the blank piece of paper on which Saraswati’s signature was taken. The police allegedly put the names of four persons in the FIR and arrested them. None of these persons were among the 41, including Birbhum Trinamul chief Anubrata Mondal, named in the second complaint by Sagar’s family. The police accepted the complaint following the court’s intervention.

Parui resident Sagar was shot dead in July last year, four days after Mondal told Trinamul workers at a rally to burn down the houses of dissidents contesting as Independents in the panchayat polls and bomb the police if they came to the rescue. Sagar’s son Hriday had contested as an Independent after being denied a ticket by Trinamul.

Officer Mukherjee was transferred to the district intelligence branch after Sagar’s family moved the high court. Sahana is still attached to Parui police station. He is no longer the investigating officer in the case as the SIT is probing it.

Birbhum police chief Alok Rajoria said today: “After we got the report from the SIT, we started departmental proceedings against the two officers.”

Another police officer said that if the two officers were found guilty, they could be suspended or dismissed from service.

In response to the petition to the high court by Hriday seeking a CBI probe into the murder, Justice Dipankar Dutta had on April 9 passed an order asking director-general of police G.M.P. Reddy to attend his court the next day and clarify why the police had not taken action against Trinamul leader Mondal. The next day, the state government had moved an appeal before the division bench of Chief Justice A.K. Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi.

The division bench had issued an interim stay on Justice Dutta’s order. Hriday had then moved a special leave petition in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the division bench order.

But the Supreme Court had on April 28 dismissed the petition and returned the case to the high court division bench, which sent it back to Justice Dutta.

Hriday today said he had mentioned in the petition he filed in the high court all six charges the SIT has made. “We want the police officers to be punished,” Hriday said.

A police officer said that in April this year, the SIT had appealed in Suri court for a polygraph test on the two officers, which they refused.