| Pramod Sarkar at his office on Friday. (Arup Sarkar)
Durgapur, Sept. 14: Pramod Sarkar, the Trinamul Congress mayor-in-council member who faces a non-bailable charge after allegedly assaulting a party colleague on Wednesday, is roaming free.
Sarkar and Bidhannagar Trinamul leader Nikhil Mukherjee had come to blows over clearing of roadside bushes. Both said the other was interfering in his affairs.
Sarkar had tried to strangle Mukherjee, who retaliated by pinning him down and raining punches on him. Sarkar’s aide Debaprasad Dutta allegedly hit Mukherjee on the head and shoulders with a brick.
But while Dutta was arrested last morning, Sarkar is yet to be picked up.
In his FIR at New Township police station, Mukherjee, who is admitted to the Durgapur Steel Plant hospital, accused Sarkar of assaulting him and stealing money from his shirt pocket. He also named Dutta and two other Trinamul workers close to Sarkar in the complaint.
“Sarkar tried to murder me. He also stole my money. But instead of charging him with attempt to murder, the police only registered cases of altercation, assault and theft. Theft (Section 379 of the IPC) is a non-bailable offence but he is still roaming freely. The police are doing nothing,” Mukherjee said from his hospital bed today.
Sarkar, who attended office as usual today, termed the incident “minor”. “It was a minor incident. Some of my party colleagues and the media are blowing it out of proportion. I am busy at work now. If the police want, they can arrest me,” Sarkar told The Telegraph.
The police said they arrested Dutta but did not find the other accused at home. “We have already arrested one of the accused. Sarkar is a mayor-in-council member and it would be better for us if he surrenders in court. We tried to contact him at his home but were told he was not there,” said Dinesh Mandal, the officer in charge of New Township police station.
A Trinamul worker close to Sarkar said he had planned to surrender today but his lawyers advised him “not to take a risk” as he had been booked under a non-bailable section. As today was a Friday and if the court rejected bail, Sarkar would possibly have had to wait till Monday to appeal for bail in a higher court.