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HT Correspondent
Kolkata, August 18, 2012
It is by now a familiar script — you criticise Mamata Banerjee only to elicit a harsh reaction. If Samaresh Banerjee thought he was immune to the rule by dint of being a former judge of Calcutta HC and ex-Lokayukta, he was wrong.

The former judge and his wife were allegedly threatened and abused over phone on Wednesday and Thursday by anonymous callers posing as journalists, police said on Friday. “The person threatened that I will be falsely implicated in a rape case,” said the ex-judge.

His fault? He criticised the West Bengal CM for her “corruption in judiciary” remark, during a TV interview.

On Tuesday, she had said, “…Why should judgments today be delivered for money? Why?”

Her remark came a day after the state human rights commission asked her government to pay R50,000 each to Jadavpur university professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and his neighbour Subrata Sengupta, who were arrested for circulating a Banerjee cartoon after the sacking of then rail minister Dinesh Trivedi.

While the phone calls fed another controversy, the state government suffered a setback when the West Bengal Human Rights Commission started probe into the alleged rights violation of Shiladitya Choudhury.

The Midnapore farmer dared tell the CM at an August 8 rally: “You are making false promises and the promises won’t be fulfilled”. Choudhury was charged with breaching Z-plus security zone and attacking police. He is currently lodged at the Jhargram correctional home.

“A petition was filed by BJP members against the injustice meted out to Choudhury. We have taken suo motu cognisance of the matter and initiated a probe,” said Sujoy Haldar, joint secretary of state rights panel.