The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lawless lawmen put behind bars
- One demands Rs 20,000 from couple for ‘indecency’, another siphons off 1.6 lakh

Once again, it’s a tale of our cops caught in the wrong. In the latest round on Tuesday, two policemen were arrested in Salt Lake for doing what they should not have been.

Constable Kishore Mullick of the community policing section of Bidhannagar (East) thana was charged with harassing a couple and extorting money from them while on a routine anti-crime patrol in Salt Lake on March 15. And sub-inspector S.N. Pramanick of Bidhannagar (North) police station, in charge of cash and valuables seized from arrested persons, was put behind bars after an inspection revealed that he had misappropriated Rs 1.64 lakh over the past eight months.

The two policemen were produced in court on Wednesday and remanded in jail custody for a fortnight.

According to inspector-general of police (south Bengal) N.R. Das, scooterist Rajiv Kumar (name changed on request) had Poonam (not her real name) riding pillion on the evening of March 15 in Salt Lake. Constable Mullick was on anti-crime patrol near Infinity Building, in Sector V. “He spotted Rajiv and Poonam approaching and waved at them, directing them to stop,’’ Das said.

Mullick questioned Rajiv and demanded to check the scooter documents. The area was deserted. After scrutinising the documents, Mullick told Rajiv he had spotted him and his friend “indulging in indecent behaviour’’ on the scooter. “He gave them two options: Pay him a handsome amount (his initial demand was Rs 20,000) or rot in jail,’’ said an officer of Bidhannagar (East) police station.

The couple opted to pay but Rajiv confessed he was not carrying that much on him. “The constable agreed to accompany him to his apartment in Sector II,’’ inspector-general Das said.

Back home, Rajiv realised he did not have enough to pay off Mullick. He started calling up friends, asking for loans. Soon, three friends arrived at his apartment with the cash. Among them, they could only muster Rs 6,500. Mullick grumbled, but took what was offered and left. Rajiv narrated the incident to his parents after they returned home at night. They decided to lodge a complaint with the police on March 17.

“We interrogated Mullick on March 18. Investigations showed he was guilty. The constable confessed to having taken the money and offered to repay the amount to the family,’’ Das said.

In the other case, sub-inspector Pramanick stole what he was meant to guard. The cash and valuables were stocked in an iron chest, kept in the police station, and details recorded in a register. Inspector-general Das said Pramanick, over the past eight months, underwrote the amount of money deposited by the arrested persons in the register.

“Instead of putting the entire amount in the chest, he pocketed major chunks of it,’’ Das added.

The felony was detected during a routine inspection last week. “I evaluated the register and probed details to find that he has siphoned off a huge amount of money. He was ordered to appear before a departmental inquiry on March 18, where he admitted to have pocketed the money. He was arrested immediately,’’ the inspector-general said.

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