It’s an incident the Election Commission should be ashamed of. On Tuesday morning, three plainclothesmen stopped an SUV on its way to South Point on Cornfield Road, evacuated 14 students (of Classes nursery to 5), left them stranded in the rain and drove off under the pretext that they had to get the vehicles for election duty.
The vehicle (Mahindra Maxx WB 20G 1925) was stopped around 6.45am about 100 metres from the primary school building in Mandeville Gardens. As the driver slowed down, he was asked to show papers, and when the driver Amar Mandal offered to return after dropping the children to school, he was allegedly slapped.
“If such an incident has happened, I am extremely sorry. Our intention is not to cause inconvenience in these ways,” Sunil Kumar Gupta, CEO, told HT on Tuesday evening.
“The men were not in uniform and neither would they show any identity cards initially. They forced the driver to get out of the car and even assaulted him,” said Sanjay Homchowdhury, a doctor and one of the guardians accompanying the children.
Homchowdhury also got into a quarrel with the policemen. But when they were all forced to get off the car, he walked all the children to school with the help of two other parents who were also there inside the car.
“What was the hurry all about? They could have waited for the car to drop the children first. It was very inhuman of them to let the children walk to school in the rain,” said Homchowdhury.
The men who intercepted the car also confiscated Mandal’s cellphone. “I went to Beltala Motors with the papers of the car and released it after getting the election duty slip,” said owner Rajendra Nath Saha.