A constable in Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's people-friendly force hurled abuse at a 26-year-old woman and made a grab at her in front of the civic headquarters on Friday ' all for being denied a bribe of Rs 650.
The ugly incident took place around noon when Tanushree Ghosh, a resident of Howrah, was being dropped off to her central Calcutta office by younger brother Amit on his brand-new motorcycle.
When they reached Corporation Place, near the main gate of Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), two constables in uniform stopped them.
They asked Amit to produce papers for the motorcycle that had no number plate and demanded 'a fine' of Rs 1,000.
Tanushree intervened and told the cops that they had bought the motorcycle a few days ago and the registration process would only be complete on Saturday.
One of the constables then asked her to cough up 'only Rs 650' if she wanted to avoid trouble.
'Realising that we were at fault I agreed to pay a fine of Rs 1,000, but I asked the constables to call a traffic sergeant to collect the fine amount. They became furious and one of them threatened to put me behind bars,' narrated Tanushree.
'Suddenly, he grabbed my right hand from behind and tried to drag me away, mouthing abuses. I pushed him away and started shouting for help,' she added.
As a crowd gathered, the rogue cops took to their heels, disappearing into the CMC premises.
T.K. Pramanik, additional officer-in-charge, New Market police station, was returning from Bankshal court when he noticed a large crowd gathered at the CMC main gate. Tanushree briefed Pramanik and he asked her to lodge a formal complaint with the police station.
Following a written complaint, officer-in-charge, New Market police station, Hiren Chandra Das asked his officers to accompany Tanushree to the spot and identify the guilty policemen. But there was no sign of them.
'Fifteen constables of the Reserve Force and 11 from the Armed Police are deployed at the three gates of the CMC headquarters every day. My officers took her there but she failed to identify the culprits. An investigation is on to find out the two constables,' Das said.
Preliminary investigation suggested that the two constables had been assigned duty at nearby crossings. 'They must have gone to the CMC gate to get their palms greased,' said an investigating officer.
Deputy commissioner (traffic) Jawed Shamim said the two constables were not from the traffic department.
'No traffic constable was involved in the incident. Constables from different units are deployed in and around CMC and they might have been involved,' he claimed.