The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cops look away as man foils kidnap bid

An officer of the enforcement directorate was seriously injured when he tried to save his five-year-old son from the clutches of kidnappers on Saturday morning in Howrah town.

Though the incident took place a few metres away from the local police outpost, none of the policemen ventured to come forward. Even after hearing the sound of bombing, the on-duty constables at the camp remained spectators.

Rajesh Kumar, superintendent of police, Howrah, said there was an allegation of police inaction. “Two constables have been suspended for a passive role during the attack,” Kumar added.

The injured officer was admitted to Howrah State General Hospital where the doctors have kept him under observation. The attackers, however, managed to flee. Later, police carried out a search and detained two of the suspects.

The incident took place around 5.30 am on Watkinson Road, in the Golabari police station area. Akshay Sinha, along with his wife and son, was travelling to the Howrah station by rickshaw to board a long-distance train. The officer of the Fera wing of the enforcement directorate was on leave. “As the rickshaw reached Watkinson Road, five youth surrounded it,” Kumar said.

Two of the youth tried to pull away Sinha’s five-year-old son from his wife’s lap. “Sinha got down from the rickshaw and started scuffling with the attackers. Sensing trouble, he told his wife and son to run for cover,” said an official of the Golabari police station.

Though Sinha kept shouting for help, neither residents nor policemen from the nearby outpost came to his rescue. Known to be a daring officer, he tried to grab one of the youths.

At this, the gangsters started hurling bombs. Sinha slumped on the road as splinters pierced his legs and hands. The miscreants then walked away.

Local residents took some more time to muster enough courage to come to his aid. They took Sinha to hospital, where doctors said his condition was serious.

After conducting a preliminary investigation, police officials concluded that the on-duty constables at the outpost should have come forward to resist the gangsters. “The two constables have been suspended because of negligence,” said an official.

Elaborating the possible motive behind the attack, an official of Golabari police station said Sinha might have developed rivalry at work.

“The miscreants must have had specific information about Sinha’s movements. They wanted to kidnap his son to teach him a lesson,” said the official.

The officials of Golabari police station carried out an extensive search and raided a number of hideouts, They picked up two youth and interrogated them. “We have got some vital leads and a breakthrough is expected soon,” added Kumar.

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