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Wednesday , May 23 , 2012
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Metro assault probe

The Metro Railway general manager on Tuesday ordered an internal inquiry into the alleged harassment of a college student by a railway police constable at Sovabazar station even as Metro officials insisted that CCTV footage did not show any assault.

Souradip Barua, 20, had alleged on Monday that a Railway Protection Force (RPF) constable heckled him, took him into the station manager’s office and slapped him after he had objected to his bag being checked twice. Souradip, however, decided against lodging a complaint after railway minister Mukul Roy called up his mother.

Metro officials, too, had maintained that there would be no probe since no complaint had been lodged. But Metro general manager P.B. Murty ordered a probe on Tuesday. “I have ordered an inquiry into the incident. If anyone is found guilty, he will be punished,” Murty said. “I have ordered the probe on my own.”

Souradip welcomed the decision. “I hope the truth will emerge after the inquiry. I was beaten up for no fault of mine,” he said, adding that he had not been contacted by the Metro authorities. “Many of my friends called me up today but I didn’t receive any call from Metro officials.”

Despite the probe order, Metro officials said there was no footage of the alleged assault. “We checked the CCTV footage several times but there was no evidence of assault. However, we are speaking to officials who were on duty last night to find out what had happened,” said an official.

But a senior RPF officer had apologised to Souradip when he went to meet the Sovabazar station manager with his parents on Monday night.

A senior RPF officer said if any commuter created trouble during security check, he or she was taken to the station manager’s office. “If there is a problem, a crowd gathers and the process of baggage checking becomes slow. So the person is taken to the office of the station manager. If necessary, troublemakers can be handed over to police. But under no circumstances should a passenger be beaten up.”