An assistant sub-inspector who had last weekend allegedly coerced a Sector V techie into paying a bribe for not having a valid pollution-control certificate for his two-wheeler, was identified on Wednesday and an inquiry started against him.
The cop has been “closed”, which, in police parlance, means he can’t report for duty until a departmental inquiry against him is complete. He will, however, continue to receive full pay. Further action will depend on the inquiry.
“Action was taken against the accused officer since he was the one who led the team,” said an officer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate. “However, a departmental inquiry is on and we’ll book the others involved.”
On Tuesday, Metro had reported the plight of Pritesh Patel, 25, and a female friend, who faced harassment at the hands of two policemen — one of them in uniform — late on Saturday.
The duo was returning from a late-night movie on Patel’s two-month-old two-wheeler when they were stopped at the Wipro intersection of Sector V.
Patel said the cops wanted to check the bike’s papers. He produced everything except the pollution control certificate, which a new vehicle doesn’t need for a year.
Patel said the cops demanded a bribe of Rs 1,500. When he refused, they allegedly threatened to throw him to jail and eventually settled for a “fine” of Rs 200. No receipt was issued.
After returning home, Patel lodged a complaint on the Facebook page of the Bidhannagar city police.
The two cops behind the alleged incident, however, had not been identified even on Wednesday afternoon. It was only after Metro enquired about the proceedings that the process began, said sources.
“The men did not belong to any police station or the traffic department,” the officer said. “Hence, there was a delay in locating them. However, now that they have been identified, we will take stringent action.”
Another officer, however, said it was a relatively simple matter to identify a cop on duty at a particular stretch because the police always maintain a logbook of those on duty, and where.
The incident also brings to light a common practice, especially at night — constables and assistant sub-inspectors stopping motorists and checking the vehicle’s papers.
According to law, no officer below the rank of sub-inspector or sergeant may stop and check a vehicle. Constables or ASIs can at most ask for a driving licence.