The Telegraph
Saturday , November 17 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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CM: Wrong to attack cop

Calcutta. Nov. 16: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today said it was “wrong” to attack the house of a police officer and questioned how an officer was left alone during Tuesday’s flare-up.

Without mentioning Tehatta, Mamata said the man who died in police firing was a “victim of circumstances”.

She was speaking at a thanksgiving programme organised by Calcutta police in Netaji Indoor Stadium for Puja committees and religious leaders.

The chief minister sought to draw a distinction with the Tehatta incident and the clash between the police and land protesters in Birbhum’s Dubrajpur on November 6.

“You saw that in Dubrajpur, I took immediate action and transferred the (Birbhum) police chief.” Referring to the Tehatta incident, she added: “Ekta officer ekla pore gelo kikore? OC kothay gelo? Todonto hobe (why was one officer left alone? Where was the OC? We will conduct a probe).”

“If it is wrong to attack my house since I am the chief minister, it is also wrong to attack the house of a serving police officer. Good sense must prevail at all times. This cannot be allowed. This can happen at my or your house too. The administration will maintain law and order,” Mamata said.

Tehatta SDPO Shailesh had fired at a mob after being chased through a maze of lanes during a flare-up. Saw mill worker Ashok Sharma had died during the firing.

“The person who fired has said his wife and child were attacked. The others had left him. Why did they leave? The entire incident has to be probed. This is not a minor incident,” Mamata said.

Senior Calcutta police officers said the chief minister appeared to be listening to the views of the police in the Tehatta case. “In the Dubrajpur incident, the SP was removed within 12 hours. It appears that this time, she too feels that there was little else the young SDPO could have done while being chased by a 500-strong mob,” an officer said.

The chief minister said the family of Sharma would be compensated. “The man who died was a victim of circumstances. We will give Rs 2 lakh to the family and offer a job to a member,” Mamata said.

Deepa stopped

A Congress delegation led by Deepa Das Munshi was today stopped 45km from Tehatta by the administration, hours after prohibitory orders were clamped in the area where the firing took place.

“We decided to return because the administration could have blamed us if there was any trouble,” Deepa said later.