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Odia IAS officer alleges harassment by cops in West Bengal


Rampurhat (West Bengal): Odia IAS officer Smrutiranjan Mohanty, who is posted as Sub-Divisional Officer of Rampurhat in Birbhum district of West Bengal, was allegedly harassed by some police personnel during his visit to a police station.

The incident took place on November 17 at around 4.30 pm at Rampurhat police station.

The matter came to light when Mohanty wrote to West Bengal Chief Secretary and Home Secretary urging to take immediate action against the accused cops.

In the letter, he alleged that he was illegally confined by police officials, during his visit to the IC Rampurhat Office. He also alleged that he is receiving constant threat from police officials for performing his duty.

“It is with regret that I narrate this incidence that transpired at P.S Rampurhat at around 4:30 pm with me and Shri R.K. Halder Deputy Collector & Deputy Magistrate, Rampurhat (DMDC) in the presence of Shri Abhishek Roy, SDPO, Rampurhat. My good office received several complaints citing extortion and corruption at several business activities in the sub division,” the IAS said.

“Having received such a complaint today from the Crushers Owners Association, Rampurhat again I decided to address the issue immediately as I felt that these issues may soon create public disturbances in form of massive law and order and shall damage the prestige of the police and civil administration, I tried to contact the Inspector-in-Charge(IC) Rampurhat several times over phone to pass on the instructions but no reply was received. Having failed to contact him lastly, I took my DMDC Shri R.K. Halder and visited the Thana for an urgent discussion with the IC but was met with hostile behavior which seemed to be premeditated”.

He further wrote: “Having asked the charge officer to contact the IC , Rampurhat and inform him of my visit to discuss the aforesaid situation , I proceeded on Thana Inspection .

In the meanwhile, the SDPO, Rampurhat arrived and started talking to me in high voices contesting my locus standi and authority to be present in thana and making such enquiries and inspections. It may be asserted here that as per section 22(a) of Police regulation 1943 Bengal, I was well within my right to make a thana inspection annually and report the findings to the District Magistrate.”

The SDPO and local police proceeded to lock the doors of the thana and refused to let me leave. It was after repeated unlawful questioning (regarding my power to inspect a thana) in a manner & conduct which was unbecoming of a responsible police officer by the SDPO and other junior police officers and after intervention by the District Magistrate , Birbhum that I was allowed to leave the police station, Mohanty added.