Globally renowned development economist Jean Drèze on Tuesday lodged a complaint of harassment and attempted bribery against two Jharkhand policemen, saying they demanded Rs 500 from him to release his two-wheeler.
Belgian born Drèze, an honorary professor at the Delhi School of Economics (DSE), lodged the complaint -- a copy of which is with Hindustan Times -- against Lalpur police sub-inspector BN Singh and assistant sub-inspector Suresh Thakur with the Ranchi deputy commissioner.
The policemen were suspended after the complaint. Ranchi superintendent of police Jaya Roy has ordered a probe into the matter. “The matter is being followed up by the Ranchi police,” said Ranchi deputy commissioner Manoj Kumar.
In his complaint Drèze said: “On December 13, a bike I borrowed from a colleague, was missing from outside Ranchi College… I went to the Gonda police station to lodge a complaint. I was directed to the Lalpur police. After two days, on December 15, they told me that the bike was picked by them allegedly to stave off a bike theft.”
“He (Suresh Thakur) asked for Rs 500 bribe to release the bike. I refused. For two days, I was harassed and asked irrelevant questions,” said Drèze.
The complaint said: “Since the Ranchi Police can obviously not be trusted to register complaints, I am sending this complaint to you (Ranchi-DC) with a request for disciplinary action against Singh and Thakur.”
Drèze frequently visits Jharkhand for research work and activism. He usually travels on a bicycle or a borrowed motor vehicle from his colleagues, said a social activist close to him.
The economist is known for his work against corruption, on MNREGA and hunger. He was a member of the National Advisory Council during the term of the UPA government but later resigned.
Ranchi police spokesperson Prashant Bushan said: “The case will be probed by the city deputy SP Sudarshan Kumar Asthik and report will submitted to the city SP.”