The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rude, slap-happy police on prowl

Rupam Mazumdar and his wife Sanghamitra were on Park Street on New Year’s Eve. A dramatic turn of events saw the couple ending up in the most ‘happening’ spot on the last night of 2006, Park Street police station. This is what Rupam and Sanghamitra told Metro on Wednesday afternoon at Bhabani Bhavan...

“It was around 12.15 am and we were waiting at the Park Street-Russell Street crossing to enter The Park. We moved forward after police allowed pedestrians to cross. I noticed a gang of 15 unruly boys coming towards us and so I tried to move closer to my wife, but a policeman pushed us toward the rowdies.

Why are you doing this' Don’t forget that you are a public servant, I told the cop. Furious, he grabbed my hands and with two other constables, dragged me to a corner, where a man in blue blazer and red tie was standing. ‘You are drunk… Why are you creating a nuisance'’ he barked.

I felt insulted and asked him his name. The man in the blazer slapped me four times and shouted: ‘Take him to the car…’. Four policemen pounced on me and pushed me into a Tata Sumo.

My name, address and other details were recorded at the SSKM outpost and I was then taken to Park Street thana.

It was around 12.30 am. I was asked to wait in a room, from where I could see the lock-up. A man from behind the bars was shouting: ‘I am a major with the Indian Army… Why are you holding me' What are the charges against me'

Then, three men — one in army uniform (later identified as Lt Col Pratap Singh, picture left) — entered the police station went into the additional OC’s room. They came out after two minutes and a sub-inspector went to open the lock-up.

Two men stepped out of the lock-up and the one who had been shouting from behind the bars got into a heated argument with the sub-inspector, sparking trouble. A melee broke out, but the man in uniform pacified both sides and instructed the jawans to take away the two men released from the lock-up.

The armymen then instructed us all to leave the police station. I saw some people sneak out of the lock-up and walk out of the police station. I waited outside, where my wife and brother Rangan had arrived and insisted that we leave the trouble spot.

I did not run away that night and police owe me an explanation. I registered a complaint with the human rights commission today.”

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