Thursday, March 04, 2010

Are police in West Bengal empowered to arrest, torture & release anyone whimsically ???

West Bengal, India

Name of the victims:- (1) Ms. Sahida Bibi wife of Mr. Nesar Gazi aged about-35 years, by faith-Muslim, occupation-rag picker; (2) Master Abdul Alim Gazi son of Mr. Nesar Gazi, aged about-15 years, both residing at 4A Basanti Colony, Police Station-Ultadanga, District-Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Name of the perpetrators:- (1) Three involved police personnel of Belghoria Police Station; (2) Mr. Subrata Bhowmick, the Inspector-in-Charge of Belghoria Police Station.

Place of incident:- Near Dunlop Bridge, Boranagar, Police Station-Belghoria, District-North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India

Date & time of incident:- On 3.3.2010 at about 1 pm.

Case Details:-
On 3.3.2010 in the afternoon we received information that the victim Master Abdul Alim Gazi, a minor only aged about 15 years was arrested by the police personnel of Belghoria Police Station from the area located under Dunlop Bridge, Boranagar. He was with his mother and aunt at the time of incident. The mother of the victim repeatedly pleaded before the police personnel to release her son but the police personnel did not ear to her cries and even verbally and physically humiliated and assaulted her. Then the police personnel forcibly took the victim in police jeep and went away. The police allegedly did not disclose any reason for apprehending the victim neither to his mother or any other local person.

Our fact finding team soon getting the aforesaid information as well as that the victim was taken away to Belghoria Police Station reached at the place of incident and talked with the following persons and gathered their statements.

The statement of Ms. Sahida Bibi, mother of Master Abdul Alim Gazi -“ In the morning on 3.3.2010 I along with my minor son and my sister were roaming near Dunlop Bridge for the purpose picking rags. I heard from local people that last night fire broke out on a shop. Some GRP members even told us that we could pick up rags from the place. Then we started to fill up our bags with rags found from the place. I was working and my son was standing little distance away from me. Then at about 1 pm I saw that some police personnel from Belghoria Police Station reached at the site and started driving away people from there. I saw from little distance that one of the police personnel was holding collar of the T-shirt of my son Abdul Alim Gazi. Then I rushed to my son and pleaded before the police personnel that my son was innocent. The police personnel told that they would take him to police station. I repeatedly pleaded before them to release my son but they did not pay any heed and one of the police personnel forcibly thrashed me on the ground. But I desperately tried to convince the police personnel even touching their feet that my son was minor by age and totally innocent but one police man kicked me by his boot and forcibly took my son in the police jeep and left the place.”

Ms. Jahanara Khatoon, aunt of Abdul Alim Gazi stated as,” I was present on the place of incident at about 1 pm when police from Belghoria Police Station reached. The police personnel were driving away people from the site. But Master Abdul Alim Gazi could not flee from the spot and police nabbed him by his collar. I saw that one of the police personnel slapped on his face. I also saw that his mother rushed to her son and crying before the police personnel touching their feet to release her son but police personnel did not pay any heed and one police person thrashed her on the ground and even kicked his mother by boot. Then the police personnel took away her son in police jeep”.

Ms. Farida Bibi, wife of Mr. Kader Sardar residing at 4A Basanti Colony who was present at the place of incident at the place of incident also narrated the same in similar way like the victim’s mother and the aunt before our fact finding team.

Then our fact finding team reached at Belghoria Police Station at about 7.45pm and first met with the Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Mr. Sukalyan Singh Roy of Belghoria Police Station and revealed the incident. But the said police Inspector asked our team to talk with the Inspector-in-Charge who was not present at that time in the police station. Our team tried to contact with the Inspector-in-Charge on his mobile phone but no response was made. Our team saw that the victim was detained in police lock-up.

Our team also contacted with the Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Belghoria Mr. Arnab Ghosh on his mobile phone in the evening and he was made aware of the incident. We sought for his proper intervention which he assured to do so.

Master Abdul Alim Gazi was released from Belghoria Police Station on 4.3.2010 in the morning without any charge against him. He recounting the incident before our fact finding team told, “I accompanied with my mother Ms. Sahida Bibi and Ms. Jahanara Khatoon who were roaming near Dunlop Bridge for purpose of rag picking. My mother was picking rags from there. Suddenly at about 1 pm three police personnel in a police jeep arrived on that place and started driving away people from the spot. Like other people I tried to run away from the place but one policeman caught hold of my collar and slapped me on my face using filthy languages. My mother repeatedly pleaded before them to release me but they did not pay any heed and forcibly thrashed my mother on the ground and one police person even kicked my mother. Then the police personnel forcibly took me away in the police jeep. The police did not disclose any reason of my apprehension though my mother repeatedly asked for the same. Even in the police jeep the police personnel threatened me with dire consequences using filthy languages. Then I was brought at police station where one police Inspector noted down my particulars. Then the police put me in a room having iron grill gate under lock and key. I was detained in the said room along with other four people and later in the night another 6 persons were detained in the said room. Then in the next morning one police man opened the lock of the grilled iron gate of the said room and brought me outside and I was handed over me to my uncle Mr. Sabur Holdar Gazi.”

Report By:
Kirity Roy

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