The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Blows rain over spelt name

You jerk, I'll show you who's the boss. Tell me your name'


Sorry, come again'

You were not paying attention' Now listen carefully, my name is D-H-R-U-B-A, got it'

You *#*#, what do you think of yourself' How dare you spell your name'

What's in a name' Enough for a cop quartet to rain down with baton and fist for a full 15 minutes on a youth guilty of nothing more than spelling out his name.

Stopped on Friday night near the entrance to the Dhakuria Lakes opposite Menoka cinema, 22-year-old Dhruba Bhattacharya was first slapped and then beaten with batons in front of his hapless fiancee, by four policemen in plainclothes.

The two had been returning after watching an evening show at Menoka, on August 19.

When the youth, a resident of Satish Mukherjee Road, refused to bow to the brute force of the Special Branch officers, he was allegedly taken further into the Lakes, where he was mercilessly kicked and punched.

The cries of the girl, a resident of Jadavpur, fell on deaf ears as the dozen or so onlookers, terrorised by the sight of the law-keepers on the rampage, refused to lift a finger.

Ironically, the misdemeanour of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's police force came to light on Tuesday, minutes after the final whistle at the much-hyped Calcutta Police Friendship Cup.

A symbol of cop efforts to connect with the Calcuttan, the football tournament involving hundreds of para clubs was spread over the past few weeks and concluded at the Alipore Bodyguard Lines on Friday.

Just after the finals of the Friendship Cup, Sukumar Chakraborty, officer-in-charge of Lake police station, submitted a report to deputy commissioner of police (south) N.R. Babu, all but tripping the force's bid to project a more people-friendly image.

'As soon as the youth lodged a complaint, we ordered an inquiry. The accused have been identified and departmental action will definitely be taken against them. We in the force are committed to serving the citizens,' asserted Babu.

When Dhruba came to his office, the deputy commissioner of police offered his apologies for the incident.

It was around 9 pm when Dhruba entered the Lakes along with his fiancee through the gate opposite Menoka cinema.

'After watching a movie, we decided to take a walk through the Lakes,' recounted Dhruba.

They were stopped by an assistant sub-inspector and three constables ' all from the intelligence wing of the city police.

'When we were taking a right turn towards the waterbody, they asked me to stop, and I stopped walking,' said Dhruba, an employee of a Salt Lake-based private firm.

When asked his name, Dhruba replied. The officers then asked him to repeat it.

'I found it humiliating and so I told them my name clearly and then spelt it out,' added Dhruba.

On hearing this, the cops flew into a rage and decided to teach the youth a lesson.

'Actually, the policemen became suspicious when the two were found heading for a less illuminated spot of the Lakes,' said Lake thana officer-in-charge Chakraborty.

'Our inquiry proved that Dhruba and his fiancee were innocent. They did try and poke some fun at the policemen' But no doubt, the policemen committed an offence. They beat up the young man,' added Chakraborty, who has pieced together the ugly episode in his report.

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