The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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HC raps sit-back police

Calcutta, Dec. 23: The high court today slammed police for taking sides because of the political affiliations of the guilty.

Hearing two petitions alleging land-grabbing with the CPM’s support, Justice Barin Ghosh said the police were paving the way for the culprits.

The first petition was filed by Golum Kuddus Mondal of Burdwan, who alleged that CPM supporters had captured his land and the police did not take action despite several appeals. In the second, Manas Roy, a doctor, said the police were not taking action against Parbati Chatterjee, who was denying him possession of his land at Santiniketan.

Mondal said he has been running pillar to post to get back his land. “People who are very influential in the area and belong to the ruling party are getting direct support from the police. Even the superintendent is not taking the matter seriously,” Mondal alleged.

The judge said: “If the police act in this manner, culprits will take the law in their own hands.

“A day will come when the miscreant will unseat a bonafide owner of a house and (the) police will stand still.”

The judiciary, Justice Ghosh said, should not allow the police to act that way. “This cannot be the law of the land.”

Roy alleged in court that he had taken the plot in Santiniketan on lease but when he went to take possession, Chatterjee was erecting a structure on it. “Since then, I have tried to take possession of the land but all my efforts were in vain,” Roy said in his petition. He also submitted a letter from the local subdivisional officer that said the zilla parishad chief of Birbhum had directed the officer not to take action against Chatterjee.

After hearing Mondal’s petition, the judge said: “In spite of the complaints lodged with the police, including the Burdwan SP, no action was taken against the culprits. It is surprising that the police did not make an effort to ascertain who is the real owner of the land.”

The judge directed the Burdwan superintendent of police to take all steps necessary to hand over possession to Mondal.

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