He was robbed of his month’s pay and the gold chain he had bought for his wife. He was threatened with a knife and beaten up. But the unkindest cut came after all that — for several hours on Thursday night. Krishna Kumar Pandey went from one police station to another trying in vain to file an FIR.
What denied the 32-year-old employee of a stockbroker firm his basic right of seeking police redress was a simple line oft-repeated at police stations — “this does not fall under our jurisdiction...”
The police rulebook states that a complaint can be lodged with any thana, irrespective of the site of crime.
Early on Friday, Pandey ended up in the intensive therapy unit of a nursing home in south Calcutta with a battered eye, nose and mouth.
The nightmare for the resident of Santoshpur began soon after he boarded a taxi from Esplanade around 11 pm on Thursday. “The taxi suddenly swerved into Ho Chi Minh Sarani from Chowringhee. The four youths in the taxi attacked me, snatched Rs 8,000 and the gold chain. They gagged me, punched me and finally threw me out on Rowland Row around 11.40 pm,” Pandey told police from his hospital bed.
Bleeding profusely, he first approached the police kiosk at Minto Park for help. There, he was “advised” to go to Bhowanipore police station. From the thana, an officer took him to SSKM Hospital for first-aid and then to the site of the attack, only to tell him that jurisdiction demanded he go to Ballygunge police station.
The same visit-the-spots routine was repeated by the cops there, till Pandey was redirected to Shakespeare Sarani police station.
By the time Pandey was forced to retrace his steps again to ascertain jurisdiction, it was well past 3.30 am and he was almost faint from blood loss. Colleagues who had come to his aid forced his hospitalisation.
On Friday morning, two officers from Ballygunge and Shakespeare Sarani police stations came to Pandey’s bedside and registered a case of robbery and assault.
Gyanwant Singh, deputy commissioner of police (detective department), said: “This is a serious matter and the officers may face stern action.”