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'Why Should State Pay for Police Errors?': Mamata Cracks Whip on Cops in Birbhum Violence, Hanskhali Rape and Death Case

By: Kamalika Sengupta

News18.com

Last Updated: April 27, 2022, 19:04 IST

CM Mamata Banerjee directed the police to be 'pro-active' and asked the SP, IG to often visit police stations and build goodwill with people so that they don't fear filing a complaint. (PTI File)

CM Mamata Banerjee directed the police to be 'pro-active' and asked the SP, IG to often visit police stations and build goodwill with people so that they don't fear filing a complaint. (PTI File)

CM Mamata Banerjee said had the police been more active, the incidents would never have happened.

Amidst backlash and political storm over the Birbhum violence in March and the recent case of a minor’s rape and death in Hanskhali, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at an administrative review meeting on Wednesday slammed the state police for slackness, and said the “police made a lot of errors”.

Banerjee, while addressing the Birbhum case, said, “The police should have alerted that there could be retaliation after the incident… The DSP (deputy superintendent of police) should have reached the spot immediately and stopped the situation from spiralling out of control… The police made a lot of errors in tackling the Bogtui incident and the state lost face because of it. Why should the state pay for errors of the police? Rampurhat would not have happened had the police remained active.”

Nine people were burned alive in their homes by a mob in Bogtui village in Rampurhat area in Birbhum district, following the killing of local TMC Panchayat leader Bhadu Sheikh in March. Twenty-two people have been arrested so far.

Talking about the minor’s rape and death in Hansakhali village, Banerjee questioned the police for delaying investigation. “Why did you take so much time in receiving the information about what happened with the family? Why do you not keep tabs on the natural and unnatural deaths in your area? The family has given different versions of the incident to our police and the CBI…”

A minor girl was allegedly gang-raped at a birthday of a TMC member’s son, the main suspect, on April 4. She bled to death hours later. Her family had lodged a complaint with the police five days later. The police questioned the parents and two of girl’s cousins. They later sent them off, saying they may call them again “if there is a need”. The Calcutta High Court had directed the CBI to probe the incident.

The CM directed the police to be “pro-active” and asked the superintendent of police, deputy inspector general and inspector general to visit police stations and build goodwill with people so that they don’t fear reporting a complaint or any incident.

Among several suggestions, she told the police to file the charge sheets on time. In cases of extortion, theft, fake appointment letters, a culprit should be arrested without any delay.

She also asked the administration of north Bengal and Jangal Mahal to watch out for any incident as the that opposition have been “instigating” people in the region.

Stressing that Banerjee should take the responsibility of two incidents, BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya, however, said, “Why is she scolding the police? She herself is the home minister and should take the responsibility.”

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first published:April 27, 2022, 18:55 IST
last updated:April 27, 2022, 19:04 IST
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