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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Rights panel raps police over rogue cab drivers

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, October 10, 2012
First Published: 12:09 IST(10/10/2012) | Last Updated: 12:11 IST(10/10/2012)

The West Bengal Human Rights Commission rapped the police for its’ ‘indifferent attitude’ regarding the untoward incident on Monday night where a woman was harassed by a couple of taxi drivers who extorted Rs. 1500 from her.

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Alpana Pal, an employee in a private company was on her way home in Behala from Science City on Monday night along with her two children. The cab on which she was riding took a detour via Bosepukur and stopped midway in a deserted place. The driver told her that the brakes had failed and the cab would not go further.

Pal handed the driver a Rs. 500 note against Rs. 242 as the meter in the cab demanded. The helper in the cab allegedly pocketed the money and said that Pal had only paid her Rs. 50. The second time she paid Rs. 1,000 but again the helper claimed that she had paid him Rs. 50 and the cab zoomed off.

Pal’s woes did not end there. The Taratala police assistance booth asked her to file a complaint at the place where the incident had taken place. The officer on duty allegedly handed Pal a taxi refusal form and told her to approach the Behala traffic guard. But the Behala traffic guard expressed helplessness unless the woman could give the accused cab’s registration number.

“The WBHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of the matter and sought a report from police commissioner within two weeks. An investigation will be conducted by the deputy commissioner of police,” Sujoy Haldar, WBHRC joint secretary said.

“We expressed concern over the overall security of the women in the city and the indifferent attitude of the police on duty,” Haldar said.

Mohammad Sarfaroz, the accused cabbie, was arrested on Tuesday. A complaint has been lodged with Kasba police and he would be produced in court on Wednesday. The cabbie later confessed to taking money from his passenger.

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