Their job is to maintain law and order and uphold peace in localities under their jurisdiction.
But on Wednesday officers from two police stations got involved in a clash while determining under whose jurisdiction a locality, where an accident took place, fell.
Four, including an assistant sub-inspector, received severe injuries during the clash.
Trouble started around 3 pm when a motorbike collided with a vehicle in Hajgacha in New Town.
Two vans - one from New Town and the other from the Kolkata Leather complex (KLC) police stations - were deployed and both vehicles went to the spot. While New Town falls under Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate, KLC police station is under South 24-Parganas police.
Sources among the police officers claimed that officers from both police stations refused to register the case on the pretext that the area does not fall under their jurisdiction.
A senior officer said that during the argument a constable from KLC police station suddenly told Gaurango Nag, an assistant sub inspector, “When you collect extortion money you do not care for jurisdiction. But when you register accident cases you always determine the jurisdiction.”
“This left the assistant sub inspector red-faced and the team from New Town police station attacked their colleagues posted with KLC police station.
Officers from KLC police station retaliated and soon a clash broke out and officers started beating each other with lathis. The victims of the accident and locals were shocked to see men in uniform fighting each other,” said a senior police officer.
The fighting continued for around 30 minutes before senior officials went to the spot and pacified them. Four injured were rushed to a nearby rural hospital where they were treated with first aid.
“It was a sight to watch. We have never seen men in uniform fight each other. It seemed as if they were lathicharging a mob. Local shopkeepers, residents and passersby all came down to see the incident,” said Amiyo Das a local.
Locals put up a road blockade after the fighting stopped. A team of senior officers requested locals to withdraw the blockade. “We have started an investigation and would take action against the officers involved,” said a senior officer.