The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Search for teaser cops’ target

Calcutta, Jan. 4: Claiming “vital clues”, police have mounted a hunt for the pillion-rider whose plight prompted Bapi Sen to take on a group of policemen who beat the traffic sergeant senseless on New Year’s day.

Deputy commissioner of police (central) Zulfiquar Hasan said the police had obtained a clear description of the woman harassed by five constables.

“After interrogating the five arrested constables and the few eyewitnesses, we now have a clear description of the woman. The driver of the taxi in which the constables were travelling has also helped us a lot,” added Hasan, who is overseeing the probe.

“We appeal to the woman to come forward and help us. After all, a policeman is battling for his life after fighting for her. It is now her turn to help and explain what happened to her on Nirmal Chandra Street,” the officer said.

All police stations in central and north Calcutta have been directed to search for the woman.

The taxi driver had seen the woman clearly, according to Hasan. “He saw her for a reasonable period. He noticed everything — the pillion-riding woman got down from her friend’s motorcycle. He provided us a clear picture of the woman,” Hasan said.

The woman, according to the police, was clad in jeans and T-shirt and had flowing hair. The constables had allegedly pulled the woman’s hair when the sergeant intervened.

At Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI), doctors said the condition of the sergeant, who is in a coma, has remained unchanged in the last 24 hours.

“He continues to be in a very critical condition. The entire brain has been severely damaged and apart from his heart, which is still beating regularly, nothing positive has emerged,” said neurosurgeon Ajay Agarwal, who is part of a board overseeing Sen’s treatment.

“We are continuously evaluating his condition and monitoring the treatment procedure. But there is nothing much you can do at this stage,” said Agarwal. “We are doing all we can to save this young policeman.”

Family members and friends rushed to CMRI early this morning after rumours spread that the sergeant might be taken off life support. “Thank heavens he is still alive,” said Bapi’s friend, Aloke Chatterjee.

But Bapi’s family members are preparing themselves for the worst. “I have spoken to the doctors. They haven’t given us much hope and it seems that only a miracle can save my brother. But I don’t believe in miracles,” said Bapi’s elder brother Anup Sen, who has been spending sleepless nights at the hospital.

All the five constables accused of harassing the woman were today remanded in police custody till January 9 by the chief metropolitan magistrate.

The five were brought to court in a prison van, but were not produced before the magistrate. The police feared that a crowd which had gathered on the court premises would have assaulted the constables.

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