Shame on the Police and Babudom of Kolkata

via B.R.Haran published on January 30, 2007

Under the appalling governance of the UPA (Useless Pathetic Alliance), we are fed with hell a lot of disgraceful incidents happening all over the country, day in and day out. As the flow of incidents is increasing at an alarming rate, we are not able to remember all such incidents. One such forgotten incident was the damage done to our Army by the Police & Babudom of Kolkata on the eve of the New Year 2007. It is unfortunate and condemnable that the media has also played an irresponsible role in that. The incident was, the ‘eve-teasing’ allegation stamped on two Army officers by the Kolkata Police and the consequent happenings in the concerned police station.



Now, the investigations carried out by the army meticulously, have proved the callous attitude of the Police & Babudom off Kolkata who had misled the Prime Minister himself prompting him to support the Kolkata Police. Here, it is very sad & unfortunate that the PM has erred without verifying the facts like how he erred in blaming the so-called ‘Hindu fundamentalists’ for the Malegon Blasts.



With regards to the above-said incident, I have given below the “Actual Facts”, which I have received from a good friend of mine. It is understood that this mail containing the ‘actual facts’  is being circulated within the Armed Forces & Ex-service men, as per a report from ‘Deccan Chronicle’.



I have also pasted the report of Deccan Chronicle for the kind information of all the right thinking citizens.




ACTUAL FACTS


Since the Media has been instructed to not report on this issue and let it fall out of public gaze, here is the latest on this episode…

Writer’s Building (Senior Bureaucracy of West Bengal Government) is very UNHAPPY with the way the Police handled the situation!



In fact, after the babus staked their credibility and escalated the issue to PMO / PM level overnight, the kolkata babus were stunned, even grudgingly respectful of the cogent, articulate and thorough legal arguments presented by the Military authorities punching irrefutable holes in the police version and approach.

Apparently the PMO is very unhappy as well that the IAS / IPS lobby in Kolkata prematurely escalated the incident to the bureaucrats within the PMO and got the PM to react in support of the Kolkata cops even when the cops, as it turns out, were in the wrong.

It was not for nothing that the Chief Secretary (Home Secretary too) of West Bengal appeared so much more conciliatory, even admiring of the Army authorities the very next morning (“I should give the Army credit where it is due. It is best if they investigate. They are already moving much “faster” (the obvious comparison being with the Pandus). We have high regard for the Army”.etc.)

If the pandus were out-pandu’ed by the Army jawans the night before in the ‘laat ghoosa’ department, then the babus were out-babu’ed by Army Officers the morning after in the babu’cracy, intelligence gathering and legal departments. The Army came through the (Kolkata bureaucrats – Army Authorities) meeting as the better prepared, informed and professional party. The Babus immediately agreed that the Army should drive the investigation going forward.

The grandiose statements by the Police chief ( “My men did not confront the Army only to avoid a bloodbath otherwise we are more than capable to handle such people”, “I will move the courts to arrest these officers and put them back in custody and I will see this to its end”, “My officers will not go to the Army to depose we will get the Army Officers to depose for our investigation” ) in between his lobbying efforts to become Chief of CAB (Cricket association of Bengal) when this issue was still hanging fire, did not endear him to the babus who were themselves working overtime to contain the situation. It is rumored within Writer’s Building that as soon as the Babus succeed in sweeping this incident under the carpet, and out of public imagination, the Kolkata Police chief would be eased out of his position – possibly as the CAB chief itself.

That the Army’s court has already begun its work and started witness depositions, while the cops are yet to even send a written report to the Army, tells something about either party’s professionalism and discipline.


 


The Army authorities, unmindful of the Neta / Babu / Pandu / Patrakar shenanigans, have made it very clear that they are determined to move full speed ahead with their investigation. Notwithstanding the go-slow wont-cooperate mode of the police, the Army approached the judiciary in quick time and the magistrate ordered the cops to depose before the Army court – inside the Army base – instead of the other way around!

From its end the Army has assured timely punitive measures to its offending personnel for alleged offences if proved in court – including eve teasing, vandalism – provided of course witness depositions are made available. With the ‘eve teased’ woman having vanished without a trace, and not a single attendee at the new Years bash at the hotel corroborating the eve teasing story the cops are truly embarrased. Further atleast 3 neutral witnesses have come forward disputing the police version of the vandalism story! The only recourse therefore available to the cops to keep the lid from being blown of their misdeeds and subsequent cover-up was to not depose them in the Army court – thereby keeping the court in perpetual limbo.

Despite allround pressure on the cops to honour the summons from the Army court the constables have been mortified about visiting the Army cantonment / court and had been delaying it under one pretext or the other. Finally, the 2 offending cops – the same very 2 guys that also bore the biggest brunt of the Madras regiment fury – appeared before the Army court a few days ago.


 


Apparently the babus have engaged in a lot of behind the scenes diplomacy with the Army authorities (the Army is furious at the lies planted in the media, and the inability of the cops to corroborate their stories – eve teasing / drunkenness of Army personnel – with any credible witnesses, FIRs or crime scene reports) to let issue die down.



The Army also filed FIRs against the police for illegally arresting and manhandling Army officers in clear violation of the Army Act passed by Parliament – and made it clear to the bureaucrats that they are determined to take the issue up till the highest court of the land, if required, to prosecute justice and punish the guilty policemen.

Their initial posturing in the media notwithstanding, both the bureaucrats and police realized just how strong a legal ground the Army is on. The cogent and successful arguments made by the Judge Advocate General of the Army to the Magistrate in Kolkata (to order the police to depose before the army court) convinced the Babus and police that the Army authorities can more than can match them in court just as they ‘checkmated’ the pandus in the ‘laat ghoosa’ department.



Indications are that the bureaucrats are trying the best to request the Army authorities let bygones be bygones, and to kindly let the cops off the hook (drop the FIRs against the constables), and for public consumption just give a token verbal Administrative ‘displeasure’ to the Armymen for thrashing the guilty cops. The babus would get the media to stay off the case so the honor and dignity (H&D) of Kolkata cops’, and more importantly H&D of Netas (PM, Raksha Mantri and External Affairs Mantri that needlessly spoke in support of the pandu chowkidars) can be redeemed.

Credit must be given to the babus for the damage control mode they kickstarted after realizing that the Army guys – in characteristic fashion – had their act together with lightning speed, while the pandus took everyone – including Netas – for a jolly ride with their stories, not to speak of unprofessionalism (Police officer was missing from Police station during the incident leaving Pandus chowkidaars to freely distribute ‘laat ghoosa’ to handle situations, frivolous charges against the Army Officers, absolutely no clue about laws that clearly govern handling situations involving Military personnel, needless manhandling of the Army Officers and mocking at them in custody ( “Bolta hain Army Major hain”, or something to that effect in Bengali, as told by neutral witnesses present at the police station at the time).

Curiously enough, the print / electronic media except ‘Outlook’ ( http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp…takorner&sid=1 ) have largely gone silent about this issue – with no follow up investigative report about the woman, hotel, police, or the case itself! This is an “out of sight out of public mind” formula devised by patrakar-babu combine so that after the initial news cycles – ( “Indisciplined Army hit innocent lachar pandus” ) that got the ‘favorable’ police version out – the issue falls out of public domain and imagination. A carefully thought out, and so far successful, exit strategy for the cops – as aam junta’s attention is diverted to Nithari murders and ULFA. This way, the Police ‘high handedness’ and ‘gross negligence’ that actually caused the incident to flare up and spin out of control does not come into public knowledge – and if / when it does the news is stale.



Good babus are supposed to sacrifice themselves if required to keep the H&D (honor and dignity) of Netas intact. Babus now have to figure out a way to untangle the pugdis and lungis of Netas that got all knotted up by the fury of the blows from Madras Regiment that landed resoundingly, and very painfully, on the heads of Kolkata pandus.




For the sake of our beloved Netas I wish the babus all the best in this noble endeavor.


 


WRITE-UP FROM DECCAN CHRONICLE:


 


Army fumes over police ‘lies’


 


 


New Delhi, Jan. 29: The Kolkata New Year’s Eve incident of alleged molestation that led to a major confrontation between the Army and the police, with the civil authority and the media supporting the latter, has Indian Army officers seething with anger over what a widely-circulated email in defence circles now describes as a total distortion of facts.


 


The email, which has now reached serving and even retired officers from the defence services, was sent to this correspondent by a senior officer with the comment: “Please read and know what the truth is.” It is a strongly-worded statement that insists that there was no molestation, and that four bouncers of the five-star hotel in question had “thrashed an Army major because he demanded a meal for a valid coupon he held.” Interestingly, there has been no condemnation from the defence minister about the fact that the Kolkata police had violated the Army Act and locked up an Army Major when, under the law, it was required to notify the Army authorities and hand him over immediately.


 


The Major was taken by the bouncers to the Park Street police station, according to the email, and was beaten up before he was locked up. The police did not pick him from the spot. A Captain from the Army who went to the police station to secure his release was also locked up. He had, however, called his commanding officer, a Lieutenant-Colonel, before being locked up.


 


The lieutenant-Colonel arrived at the police station with a group of jawans, and while the policemen opened the lockup they insulted the Major. The soldiers, the email said, flew into a rage and “all hell broke loose.” The situation, according to the email, was controlled by the CO who sent the rest away while he stayed back to speak to senior police officers who were yet to reach the spot.


 


Meanwhile, the media was informed by the police which gave its own version of the story to journalists, the email stated. According to the police at the time, the two Army officers had teased a woman guest at the hotel and were arrested and taken to the Park Street police station. Soldiers of the 3 Madras Regiment, according to the police, ransacked the police station to free the officers.


 


The police commissioner had demanded that the two Army officers be handed back to the police, with the Army flatly refusing to do so. The Eastern Command has started a court of inquiry, promising to take action if the officers were found guilty as alleged. The Army, sources here said, was seething with anger, particularly as the civil authorities had accepted the police version and had not hesitated to condemn the behaviour of the “guilty Army officers.”


 


The sources said that the email was right in pointing out that the civil leadership should have waited for the facts, and not based its reactions on the police version of the incident. The court of inquiry is currently on, and the police has not been able to produce the woman who was allegedly molested by the Army officer. According to the police, she is “missing”.


 


The Army officers who have deposed before the court of inquiry insist this woman had never existed and that the story had been cooked up by the police to justify its “illegal” detention of the Army officer. Under the Army, Air Force and Navy Acts, a military officer or soldier has to be handed back to the defence authorities by the police, unless he has been charged with murder or rape. Senior officers, all of whom admitted to having seen the email, told this newspaper that the detention of the major was illegal and that the police had exceeded its jurisdiction in locking up an Army officer.


 

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