Cops hit for trying to enforce cracker ban
Policemen who went to a highrise in Belur in response to a firecracker complaint on Thursday night were assaulted for trying to stop residents from bursting firecrackers, police said.
Two of the cops in the Howrah police team were injured and had to be admitted to hospital.
Five men of a family have been booked for attempt to murder and under sections of the disaster management act.
The assault occurred in a five-storey building, Ashoka Vihar, in Belur in the jurisdiction of Bally police station.
An officer said cops had gone to the building to implement the high court ban on all forms of firecrackers.
Around 11pm, when a team reached Ashoka Vihar, cops found 20 people on the rooftop bursting crackers, the police alleged.
Some of the women and children fled at the sight of cops. Some, though, stayed back and started justifying their act, an officer said. “There were old firecrackers from last year. Children wanted to burst them; so, we thought of finishing them,” the officer quoted one of the accused residents as saying.
As cops started seizing the firecrackers and asked the men to accompany them to the police station, some other residents, possibly from the third floor, attacked the men in uniform, the officer said. The team had to seek reinforcement from the Howrah city police headquarters.
A team of officers reached the spot to rescue their colleagues and arrest the accused, the officer said.
The police have started a suo motu case on the assault on cops with bamboo and hockey sticks.
At least 11 cops, including sub-inspectors, assistant sub-inspectors, constables and home guards, had been attacked, an officer said.
Five people, identified as Binod Gonda, Pawan Gonda, Kisan Gonda, Shivam Gonda, and Rajkumar Gonda, were arrested on the spot.
They have been booked for attempt to murder, rioting, deterring a public servant from performing his/her duty, defiance of promulgation by a government servant, unlawfully or negligent act which is likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life, and common intention.
The charges carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail.
A Howrah court on Friday sent the five to police custody.
An officer termed the attack “an alarming trend”.
“On the one hand, we have strict directions from the court to implement the ban at any cost and on the other we are getting assaulted for trying to do our duty,” a Howrah police officer said. “This is very insensitive on behalf of citizens.”
Over 200kg of fireworks were seized from Rajarhat and Hatiara on Friday. One person has been arrested in Rajarhat.