April, 2014: Niranjan Ghosh, a Trinamul leader in Birbhum, tries to lodge a complaint with Parui police station against Hriday Ghosh, a party dissident whose father Sagar Ghosh was killed last year, and 12 others. Niranjan accuses Hriday of hurling bombs. The Parui police station officer-in-charge, Nilotpal Mishra, investigates, does not find corroborative evidence and refuses to accept the complaint.
May 2014: Two bombs are found near the house of Hriday who informs the police. Trinamul leaders claim the bombs were found inside Hriday’s house and ask police to file a case against him. OC Mishra refuses, pointing out that the bombs were not found in Hriday’s house.
July 4, 2014: OC Mishra is transferred to another police station as the second officer — the “mejobabu” under “barobabu” (OC).
OC Mishra is a rarity in Bengal — and, on Friday, he paid the price for being so.
Most of his superiors would call him reckless and point to their own survival skills —which were on full display when officers down the line did not dare lift a finger against Tapas Paul, the Trinamul MP, for his speech.
OC Mishra is reckless also because he chose to go by the book in Parui — a place that shot into prominence because of another speech by another Trinamul leader.
Birbhum Trinamul president Anubrata Mondal had last year exhorted party workers to burn down the houses of Independent candidates contesting the panchayat elections. Four days after the speech, Sagar, the father of Hriday whom OC Mishra refused to frame, was murdered. Sagar’s son Hriday was contesting as an Independent candidate — the target group mentioned by Anubrata.
Contrast OC Mishra’s inexplicable behaviour with the “exemplary” conduct of the police in neighbouring Burdwan. The police in Burdwan slapped the Arms Act with alacrity on Babul Supriyo, then the BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Asansol, though no weapon was found after an altercation.
A police officer who took part in the Saradha probe that has not found any trail to big politicians was recently posted as Nadia SP. The timing was so perfect that Arnab Ghosh took charge in Nadia a day after Paul’s speech in the same district was aired.
Last heard, SP Ghosh was going through the complaints filed against Paul’s speech. Till late tonight, he had not been transferred for not acting on the complaints.
Sheikh Mustafa, a Trinamul leader close to Anubrata, did not beat about the bush today. Asked about Mishra’s transfer, Mustafa said: “He (Mishra) was not a good police officer at all. He was helping the rebels. We had verbally informed the OC about six months ago that his police force was not accepting complaints from us.”
SP Alok Rajoria said the transfer “is completely a departmental matter”.
Police sources said the Trinamul leaders of Parui were worried because many rebels had either joined the BJP or were planning to do so.
Mishra’s rank is sub-inspector but OCs play a decisive role — which was exhibited when his predecessor Sampad Mukherjee was in charge.
Several complaints had been levelled about the way the FIR was drawn up in the Sagar murder case and the family said his widow was made to sign a blank paper in the presence of OC Mukherjee. The high court later set up a special investigation team to probe the case, in which Anubrata is an accused.