Three young men, including a B Com third-year student of St Xavier's College, were on Sunday sent to police custody for allegedly raping a woman even as speculation is on that the Kolkata police commissioner may be shifted.
Apart from rape, the charges against them include assaulting and threatening the woman, 37, with a gun in a Honda City after they met her at a nightclub on February 5.
The chief metropolitan magistrate (in charge) directed the police to produce Nasir, Ruman and B Com student Sumit Bajaj on March 3. The fourth accused, Quadir, is absconding. The names are as recorded in the police records.
Meanwhile, ministers and Trinamool Congress leaders who are very close to chief minister Mamata Banerjee have suggested to her that Ranjit Kumar Pachnanda should be removed from the post of commissioner of police to save the government from further embarrassment, sources said.
Banerjee is said to be annoyed with the brass of the Kolkata Police since she was supposedly wrongly briefed about the incident.
Banerjee said on February 16 — two days before the rape case was confirmed — the matter was cooked up to malign her government. She even termed it a "conspiracy".
Pachnanda, an IPS officer of the 1983 batch, became commissioner in March 2011 because his predecessor Gautam Mohan Chakraborty had to be transferred following an order of the Election Commission of India.
In December 2007, the then police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee was removed after the death of Rizwanur Rehman.
CPM faults Mamata
The CM came under criticism from her predecessor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who accused her of not giving importance to the alleged rape incident. "The government without finding out what happened, pooh-poohed the allegation," Bhattacharjee said at a CPI(M) rally, without naming Banerjee.
CPM state secretary Biman Bose said, "Instead of investigating, the government said it was a conspiracy. Now the police have confirmed there was an incident...Despite being a woman, the CM is not upholding the dignity of women," he said.
With PTI inputs