The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jehanabad in Jadavpur
- CPM women's wing storms police station, frees held man

What the Naxals did in Jehanabad, the ruling party did in Jadavpur. And the prison-break story in the chief minister's constituency was scripted by CPM's female force.

Nearly 400 women ' and men ' under the banner of CPM's Mahila Samity on Monday laid siege on Jadavpur police station and freed a crook from custody.

Bapi Dutta had been picked up by police from his Ibrahimpur Road residence late on Sunday for allegedly duping an auto-showroom dealer in Baruipur.

In his complaint, the dealer, Shankar Prasad Baidya, had alleged that Dutta and his stepmother, Subrota Mukherjee, had cheated him of nearly Rs 1 lakh.

A police probe revealed Subrota to be a professional cheat with several false identities. As she had gone missing, Baruipur police station asked Jadavpur thana to arrest Bapi.

On Monday morning, Bapi's maternal aunt, Shanti Kar, who is close to several local Mahila Samity leaders, went to Swapna Bose and sought her help in freeing her nephew.

Sources said Swapna contacted her Mahila Samity comrades and other CPM activists of the area and sounded the war cry. An all-action mob then started gathering at her residence in Naba Nagar, close to the local CPM party office.

'This poor man (Bapi) is being harassed by police. He is our party sympathiser and we must help him,' she thundered.

Reason enough for the hordes to rally to Jadavpur police station and gherao it. 'Aamader lok ke anyay bhabe aatke rakha jaabe na (You cannot wrongfully detain our man),' cried the crowd.

As the ranks of the protesters swelled, Swapna and a gang of women entered the police station and demanded Bapi's release.

'How dare you arrest him. He is innocent and I'll see how you detain him,' she shouted, thumping a table in rage.

Police did her bidding ' Bapi Dutta was released. Escorted by his Mahila Samity saviours, he stepped out of the police station to loud cheers from the waiting crowd.

When complainant Baidya demanded an explanation, 'the second officer' apparently told him that 'since the inspector-in-charge was on leave, Bapi could not be arrested'. District superintendent of police S.N. Gupta said an inquiry had been ordered.

All that a local CPM leader had to say about the incident was: 'It's not right to intervene in police work.'

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