The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Deliberate murder, say sleuths

The murder of traffic sergeant Bapi Sen was not accidental; it was deliberate.The battering of Bapi Sen was not brief; it lasted a brutal 20 minutes.

These are some of the revelations thrown up by the Bapi Sen murder-case chargesheet submitted by the detective department of the city police before the chief metropolitan magistrate on Monday afternoon, 21 days before the stipulated last date.

Bapi, a sergeant with the Tollygunge traffic guard, was beaten mercilessly on the night of December 31 when he tried to save a young woman from the clutches of five rogue policemen.

The cop quintet in a taxi was teasing the woman riding pillion on a motorcycle on Nirmal Chandra Street, when Bapi intervened.

The sergeant, beaten senseless, battled for his life for the next six days, before succumbing to his injuries on January 6. By then, the police had arrested the five constables of the Reserve Force and traced two witnesses, the taxi driver and his help.

The sleuths took 68 days to complete their investigation and held the five policemen guilty of murder. “The way Bapi Sen was beaten up, following an altercation, proved that the constables wanted to kill him. They have all been charged with intentional murder and we are all set to prove this in court,” said Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner of police, detective department.

Mitra, overseer of the probe, added: “The constables were saying ‘Shalake mere phelEkdom shesh kore de (Kill him... Finish him off)’ while beating up Bapi. They did not use any weapons, but kept punching and kicking him.”

The five constables — Madhusudan Chakraborty, Pijush Goswami, Sridam Barui, Shekhar Bhushan Mitra and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman — have been booked under the charges of ‘intentional murder’, ‘molestation’ of the unidentified woman and ‘common intention’.

“We slapped the charges based on the complaint lodged by Ashok Sengupta, one of Bapi’s friends who was present during the assault,” said an officer of the detective department.

Preliminary investigations had suggested that Bapi had been beaten up for five minutes after which he fell, hitting his head against the tram-tracks. “But detailed investigation revealed that Bapi was beaten up for 20 minutes, with the five constables using their fists and shoes,” said a sleuth.

The department of forensic medicine confirmed the cause of death to be “damage of the brain stem caused by grievous assault”, added Mitra.

The cops are counting on 10 witnesses and seven exhibits to seal the case. “Bapi’s five friends and the taxi driver and his helper saw exactly what had happened that night. Besides, we have traced three residents of the area, who had also watched the entire episode,” stated Mitra.

The sleuths have given a clean chit to Bapi’s five friends, who could do little to save the sergeant. They also reiterated the fact that the woman’s choosing not to come forward would not weaken the case.

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