The Kolkata police on Wednesday arrested 12 people in connection with the shooting of a policeman in Garden Reach on Tuesday.
Tapash Chowdhury, a sub-inspector with the special branch, was shot while he was trying to control clashing students in Harimohan Ghose College.
The main accused -- Mohammad Shubhan and Ibon -- were presented before the Alipore court and sent to police custody till February 26. The rest were remanded in police custody till February 19. While the main accused were charged with murder, the rest were booked for rioting.
The police were sent in to control the students, affiliated to the Congress and the TMC, who were clashing over collecting nomination forms for the student’s union election. Four students were injured in the firing and hurling of crude bombs.
Television footage showed a youth in a red shirt shooting at the policemen from a close range, before exiting the scene. Though some alleged that the accused was a TMC worker, the party denied it.
“I meet so many people every day. I can’t give character verification for each of them,” quipped Firhad Hakim, State Urban Development Minister. He said that the accused was earlier part of the CPM and then the Congress, and actually targeted the TMC leaders.
The state government has squarely put the blame on outside elements, but promised justice irrespective of political affiliation. “Fatally shooting a police officer is not democracy. Democracy does not mean terror,” said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The Opposition came down heavily on the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.