Mamata offers help to taunted teacher
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee called up Hafiz Mohammed Shahrukh Halder, a madarsa teacher who had complained of assault in a local train on June 20, and assured all help.
Mamata promised Rs 50,000 to Halder, 23, a resident of Canning in South 24-Parganas, and two others injured during the alleged attack inside the train near Park Circus in Calcutta.
“The chief minister was worried about him and she called him up personally. She also promised Rs 50,000 each to Halder and the two others,” said a source close to the chief minister.
A teacher of Arabic at a madarsa in Hooghly’s Arambagh, Shahrukh had said he was pushed out when the train stopped, allegedly by some members of the Hindu Samhati, a far-Right organisation that describes itself as a non-political outfit.
His kurta was torn after he refused to answer why he was sporting a skullcap and why he kept a long beard, he had said.
The Samhati has said some youths had thrown stones at their supporters on the train when it stopped at the Park Circus station, injuring one on his hand.
Sources in the home department said Mamata wanted to speak to the teacher in the afternoon. An IPS officer was asked to gather his number from an officer of the GRP in Sealdah.
Sources close to the chief minister said Mamata heard Shahrukh out, inquired about his health and assured him of full support from the government in case he was feeling insecure. Later, she promised to pay him the amount.
The sources said that the chief minister thinks the GRP should have taken prompt action and arrested the culprits.
A GRP officer said no one had come forth since the incident and testified with the police about Shahrukh falling down on a platform from the Canning local.
“We don’t have CCTV installed at the Park Circus station so there aren’t any footage to check,” said an officer of Sealdah GRP. “A separate case has been drawn up and our officers are trying to gather evidence.”