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Govt's help sought to act against soldiers

West Bengal seeks Defence Ministry's help to act against army officers who allegedly ransacked the Kolkata police station.

india Updated: Jan 02, 2007 16:54 IST

The West Bengal government has sought the Defence Ministry's cooperation in starting proceedings against army officers and personnel who allegedly ransacked the Park Street police station in Kolkata on Monday.

"We have received a report from Kolkata police. On its basis, we have told the Defence Ministry that we need its cooperation. We want to proceed as per law against officers and personnel of the 3 Madras Regiment who were involved in the incident," Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb told reporters on Tuesday.

Deb, who reviewed the situation at a meeting with Home Secretary PR Roy and police chief AK Bohra, said the army will also institute departmental proceedings against those involved.

Earlier, Roy said police had registered two cases in connection with the incident.

Brandishing automatic weapons, a group of soldiers in uniform vandalised the police station, beat up and injured 11 policemen and forcibly freed a major and a captain who were arrested for allegedly misbehaving with a woman while drunk on New Year's eve.

Police did not get into a confrontation with the rampaging soldiers to avoid bloodshed, Deb said. Describing the incident as "isolated", he said, "We still hold the army in esteem."

Deb said the state government would not meet any official of the army's Eastern Command in Kolkata because the personnel and officers involved in the incident did not belong to it.

The Eastern Command has instituted a court of inquiry that started functioning yesterday.