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Molest cuffs on Salt Lake policeman, civic volunteer

Transgression after offer of lift on bike past midnight

Our Bureau | Published 13.12.21, 08:35 AM
Representational image.

Representational image.

Shutterstock

An assistant sub-inspector and a civic volunteer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate have been arrested on charges of molesting a 25-year-old woman they had offered a lift on a motorcycle at a deserted crossing in Salt Lake’s Karunamoyee early on Saturday.

A senior officer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate said on Sunday the accused were assistant sub-inspector Sandip Kumar Pal and civic volunteer Abhishek Malakar. 

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They have been booked under IPC sections related to outrage of modesty of a woman and common intention. If convicted, they may be jailed for five years.

“A 25-year-old woman from Asansol lodged a complaint of molestation against two police personnel with Bidhannagar North police station yesterday. The woman was not getting any vehicle to go to her place of stay late in the night. She took a lift from Karunamoyee to Ultadanga on a motorbike driven by police personnel. She alleged that she was molested by two police personnel during the ride,” the deputy commissioner (headquarters) Bidhannagar police, Surya Pratap Yadav, on Sunday.

Both accused, Yadav said, were attached to the traffic department of the Bidhannagar commissionerate. “Pal has been suspended and Malakar sacked,” Yadav said.

The woman mentioned in the complaint that she had been touched in an inappropriate manner during her ride from Karunamoyee till an EM Bypass crossing near Mani Square early on Saturday.

The woman had arrived in Kolkata by bus from Asansol to appear in an exam on Sunday. She got off at Karunamoyee close to Friday midnight.

With her phone out of charge, she was unable to book a cab. Nor could she find a yellow taxi, she later told the police.

“The woman was headed for a relative’s house at Garfa in the south but was unable to get any transport as it was past midnight,” said an officer. 

She has purportedly told the police that two motorcycles had approached her and the riders identified themselves as police officers, offering her help.

“Civic volunteer Malakar was on one bike and ASP Pal was riding pillion on the other, which was being driven by another civic volunteer,” said an officer involved in the probe. 

Pal apparently asked Malakar to drop the woman at Ultadanga in northeast Kolkata.

“Somewhere close to City Centre I, Pal asked Malakar to stop. He asked the other civic volunteer to leave and sat as the second pillion rider on Malakar’s bike,” the officer investigating the case said.

The three — Malakar, Pal and the woman sitting between them — reached the EM Bypass crossing near Mani Square, where she got off.

Sources said that on the way to the crossing, the bike went through lanes and bylanes that remain deserted on winter nights. “The woman did not protest or register any complaint while she was with Pal and Malakar. She used Pal’s mobile phone to call a friend and asked him to pick her up,” an officer said.

Once her friend reached the spot, they left for Garfa. On seeing cops at the Ruby crossing on the Bypass, they decided to seek their help.

The traffic cops at the crossing took them to Kasba police station, where the woman narrated the alleged incident.

A general diary entry was made around 3am before officers escorted the two to Bidhannagar woman’s police station and then to Bidhannagar North police station, under whose control is the spot of the alleged molestation.

Based on CCTV footage, officers identified the accused. They were interrogated and arrested on Sunday afternoon. They will be produced in Bidhannagar court on Monday.

The police said they had recorded the statement of the second civic volunteer.

Last updated on 13.12.21, 08:35 AM
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