The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cop denial in trader trauma

Sleuths, probing allegations by a Salt Lake businessman against two constables of Bidhannagar (South) police station, are in a fix over contradictory versions provided by the trio on Tuesday. “The day-long interrogation revealed that the businessman, Saket Anand, had not stopped his vehicle when the two constables asked him to,” said the sleuths.

On Monday, the two constables, Mrityunjoy Adhikary and Deepak Barua, were arrested on the basis of a complaint lodged by Anand. “On Anand’s complaint, we carried out a spot investigation and recovered a pendant that fell off during the alleged scuffle,” said an officer of Bidhannagar (South) police station.

M. Harisena Verma, superintendent of police, North 24-Parganas, said he has already initiated a high-level probe into the matter. “The constables have been suspended. If found guilty, further action will be the taken against them,” Verma said.

The businessman, a resident of HA Block in Salt Lake, said he was assaulted by the policemen while returning home at midnight on Sunday from a local nursing home where his grandmother was admitted. “My friends and I were returning home in our Maruti van, when the incident took place. As soon as we neared our residence, we saw a Gypsy parked beside the road. We found three policemen blocking our way,” he added.

According to Saket, the group decided to carry on, fearing police harassment. “When we did not stop, the Gypsy started following us. Then, we decided to stop and inquire what the matter was. The Gypsy screeched to a halt in front of our vehicle and two of the constables jumped out. One of them pushed me aside, while another grabbed my hands. When I asked why they were holding on to me, one of the constables punched me on my face. Blood started oozing out from my nose. The other constable then proceeded to snatch my gold chain. Luckily, the pendant fell off,” recalled Anand.

Soon, another police jeep arrived on the spot and took Anand and his friends to the police station. After going through the group’s identification papers, they were released. But a “humiliated” Anand decided to lodge a complaint on Monday.

Adhikary and Barua, however, said they had not snatched anything. “We intercepted the car after a long chase. Since their car did not stop, even after we asked them to, we dragged them out for questioning. There were no scuffles or chain-snatching, as alleged by Anand,” said the constables during interrogation.

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