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Complaint dissuaded

Sourav Chowdhury’s elder brother Sandip went to a police station in North 24-Parganas on Monday to lodge a complaint against a Trinamul gram panchayat member but was allegedly discouraged from doing so.

Sandip said his family wanted the police to probe gram panchayat member Tushar Majumdar’s alleged links with the prime accused in his sibling’s murder, Shyamal Karmakar.

“We had gone to Duttapukur police station to bring to their notice how the gram panchayat member had tried to cover up Shyamal’s misdeeds in the past and promised that he would not repeat the same mistake if spared one last time. The police told us that it might not be a very good idea to give a written complaint and that we should wait for the outcome of the ongoing probe,” Sandip, who was accompanied by a friend, said.

Majumdar has been accused of defending Shyamal a fortnight ago when he was caught assaulting a resident of Kulberia in North 24-Parganas. Sourav had been campaigning against the proliferation of hooch dens run by Shyamal.

Two weeks ago, Dilip Das, a resident of the neighbourhood, was allegedly attacked by Shyamal for asking him who had switched off the streetlight in front of his home.

“Shyamal punched Das so hard that he lost a tooth. When another youth Santu Das tried to intervene, Shyamal punched him too, leaving him with a bloodied face,” a resident of Duttapukur said.

When some youths accosted Shyamal the next day, gram panchayat member Majumdar allegedly came to his rescue. “Tushar Majumdar intervened just when Shyamal was roughed up. Majumdar promised that he would ensure Shyamal did not repeat the mistake and pleaded with us to spare him one last time,” the resident recounted.

Majumdar admitted on Monday that he knew Shyamal but declined to say whether he shielded Shyamal two weeks ago when he was being questioned for allegedly assaulting two persons.

“Yes, I know him. He lives in the same area as I do. But I cannot comment on that day’s incident. The police are probing it. They will find the truth,” the Trinamul leader told Metro.

A source at Duttapukur police station said Sandip and his friend met inspector-in-charge Sanjoy Chakraborty to highlight Majumdar’s links with Shyamal, only to be “made to realise the consequences of lodging such a complaint at this juncture”.

“The inspector-in-charge politely told them that he was ready to accept the complaint if they wished to submit one in writing, but made them weigh their options first,” the source said.

“Complaint kortei paren, kintu bhebe dekhun, ei muhurte ekta tadanta cholchhe. Ei complaint ta korle ki bhalo hobe? Du din dekhun na ki hoy (You can always lodge a complaint. But a probe is under way. Do you think a fresh complaint would be of any good? Wait for a few more days to see the outcome of the probe),” the source quoted the police officer as saying.

Senior police officers not connected with the investigation said it was “beyond policing” to influence a person who had come to lodge a complaint. “As a policeman, your primary duty is to listen to grievances and act on them. If the complaint turns out to be false, the probe should reflect that. But the complaint has to be accepted,” a veteran officer said.

Inspector Chakraborty declined to comment on the allegation. “Please talk to my superiors,” he said.

His immediate boss, additional superintendent Bhaskar Mukherjee, said: “Nobody has yet brought this to my notice. I will ensure the family lodges a written appeal if they come to me.”