The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rights panel summons police chiefs

Calcutta, Dec. 4: In a move to make law-keepers more accountable, West Bengal Human Rights Commission chief Mukul Gopal Mukherjee has called director-general of police D.C. Vajpai and city police commissioner Sujoy Chakraborty for a meeting on December 16.

“A one-to-one with the chiefs is necessary to stem the rot in police administration. I am fed up with policemen who appear reluctant to register FIRs and cause unnecessary harassment to those seeking justice. This tendency on the part of the law-enforcing agencies has to be discouraged,” Mukherjee said. “It is high time” that senior officials take “necessary measures on a war footing”, he added.

Rights panel officials said numerous complaints from people who were either denied justice or got harassed in police stations prompted “us to take up the matter with the key men in the administration”.

The panel has already sent a list of the “guilty policemen” to the Supreme Court. “We want the senior officials to pull up their sub-ordinates before the apex court steps in,” commission officials said.

According to them, over two dozen policemen from six districts — Bankura, Birbhum, Purulia, Burdwan, Howrah and South 24-Parganas — and Bhowanipore, Karaya, Hastings and Ultadanga in the city have been named.

Talking about “callousness”, Mukherjee referred to a case in which officials of a police station in West Dinajpur began investigations this May despite a court directive to register the victim’s complaint in October.

“The case would have been shelved if we did not take cognisance and asked the police to chargesheet the culprits involved,” said Mukherjee.

Mukherjee came down heavily on a section of the police for their “high-handed” behaviour and called upon the administration to dissuade them from “over-reacting”.

He also took strong exception to a complaint lodged with him by Dipak Kumar Ray, an associate librarian of Jadavpur University.

In his two-page complaint, Ray had alleged that the personnel of Maheshtala police station in South 24-Parganas “harassed” his family for two days on the basis of a complaint that his daughter, Dipika, was involved in “extremist” activities.

“We are being subjected to humiliation since the police raided my house twice and grilled my daughter without any prior information. This is an affront to our human rights,” Ray alleged.

“Rays’ is one of the cases in which policemen were found guilty of over reacting,” Mukherjee said.

The rights panel chief has asked South 24-Parganas superintendent of police Deb Kumar Ganguly to look into the incident. The list of “guilty” policemen will be handed over to both Vajpai and Chakraborty.

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