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Cops shunted in harass case

Calcutta, July 5: The officer in charge of Maidan police station, Rahul Sarkar, was today transferred to the special branch of Calcutta police following allegations of sexual harassment by a female home guard posted at the same police station.

Two other officers — additional officer in charge Bibhas Bose and assistant commissioner Kamal Patra — have also been transferred, apparently following instructions from the chief minister’s office, sources in the home department said. Maidan police station falls under the jurisdiction of Patra.

Senior Lalbazar officers said the transfers were done to ensure “a fair inquiry”.

However, sources said Bose and Patra had been transferred because they were believed to have “influenced” the home guard to lodge the complaint with the police commissioner.

“An inspector who serves as an OC in the south division and is trusted by the chief minister informed her of the role Bose and Patra may have played,” a home department official said.

The official claimed there was a “rift” between Sarkar and Bose. “Once the chief minister came to know about this, she ordered the roles of all three officers probed,” he added.

Bose was today posted as the inspector in charge of the police outpost at Chittaranjan National Medical College and Hospital. Patra, initially assigned the sexual harassment inquiry against Sarkar, has been stripped of his supervisory duty of Maidan police station.

The assistant commissioner, who had been monitoring the Maidan and Hastings police stations, has been posted as AC (administration) with the south division, the Lalbazar officers said.

Ashim Ali from the detective department has been appointed the Maidan OC, while Ranjan Haldar has been posted as the additional OC. The responsibility of monitoring Madian police station has been given to another assistant commissioner with the south division, Buddhadeb Mukherjee.

“The OC and additional OC have been removed and the AC’s zone has been shifted. We did this to ensure a free inquiry into the (harassment) case,” said the joint commissioner (headquarters), Rajeev Mishra.

A senior officer said preliminary inquiries had suggested that the home guard had apparently been influenced by “some officers” to lodge the complaint.

“According to the home guard’s complaint, she had been harassed between May and July last year. She had been in touch with some officers, who influenced her to lodge a complaint about something that allegedly happened a year ago,” the officer said.

“However, this does not dilute her charges against the OC.”

Sarkar had faced a similar charge when he was additional OC of Entally police station. He had been transferred from there on the basis of the allegation.