The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Price of not knowing Pratim

curious ways of justice

Calcutta, Nov. 5: He’s a minister, a diamond appraiser and a TV actor.

Who doesn’t know Pratim Chatterjee' (In picture above)

Three firemen — that, too, working at Writers’ Buildings — didn’t. And paid for it with transfer.

Chatterjee was all fired up when they told him: “Apni ke' Apnake to chini na. Jan, jan (Who are you' Don’t seem to recognise you. Go away).”

They should have known better when he asked them about the fire alarm at Writers’. He’s, after all, the fire services minister.

Banished from Bengal’s seat of power, B.K. Sinha Ray, S.K. Dasgupta and S.P. Modak were sent to field duty in Salt Lake.

Around noon, there was a fire alarm on the ground floor of Writers’, which prompted the firemen to requisition forces from headquarters.

The fire-tenders arrived, as did the minister from his second-floor office.

“Where is the fire'” he asked the trio, to be told to mind his business.

The mistake was immediately brought to their notice, they stammered an apology and said it was a false alarm.

Chatterjee, of several faces, went back to his room and called the three firemen: “You will report to the Salt Lake office from tomorrow.”

Officially, they were found guilty of dereliction of duty.

Fire service officials said the men only wanted to be left alone while doing their duty.

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