KOLKATA: High drama was witnessed when Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) jawans forcibly freed their murder accused officer from Diamond Harbour police station in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Friday. However, the SSB jawans handed over the accused commandant to the police after an intervention of top police officials.
The incident occurred when Diamond Harbour police officials were preparing to take murder accused SSB commandant Deepak Kumar Singh, SSB jawan Amitabha Pramanik and cable operator Mozammel Mondal to Diamond Harbour court in connection with the murder of one Altaf Jamadar on Thursday evening during a raid in Sarisha town in the district.
Police had registered a case under Section 302 (murder) against Singh who had allegedly opened fire on Altaf when he was hit on the head with a rifle butt during a raid on Thursday evening.
“SSB jawans came to Diamond Harbour police station in three vehicles at around 11 am and surrounded the police officials preventing them from taking Singh to the court. During the melee, the accused suddenly ran and sat inside the SSB vehicle and other jawans followed suit. Before the police could understand anything, the SSB vehicles sped off towards their camp at Parul nearby,” a police source said. Police officials even chased them on police jeep but the SSB jawans drove straight to their camp, the source added.
Soon, a huge police contingent led by Diamond Habour police district SP and additional SP reached the SSB camp but were reportedly prevented from entering the camp. “The top police officials spoke with the SSB officials over the phone and convinced them to hand over the accused SSB jawan,” a police source said. The three accused in the case were then produced in Diamond Harbour court by 2 pm.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee protested against the incident saying that law and order is a state subject and the central forces cannot take law into their own hands.
Additional director general of police (law and order) Anuj Sharma expressed ire over the incident and said that the matter would be taken up with the central government. He said that both the raid and the freeing of the officer were illegal. Additional cases of attacking on-duty police officers and forcibly freeing murder accused is likely to be registered against the SSB commandant.
SSB Inspector General Shrikumar Bandopadhyay said that he does not support the action of the SSB jawans and said that departmental inquiry would be initiated against the accused officer. He also claimed that he was kept in the dark about the raid, death of one person and forcibly freeing of the accused commandant.
The incident comes 11 years after 20 Army jawans freed two of their officers, who were arrested on charges of misbehaving with women, from Park Street police station in Kolkata on January 1, 2017. The Army officers vandalised the police station and beat up 11 policemen hitting one on the head with a rifle butt. Some nine prisoners had fled the police station in the melee.