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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Nine policemen suspended as former Tripura minister continues to evade arrest

Officials familiar with the development said the remaining four policemen who have been suspended include three personal guards of Badal Choudhury and an assistant sub-inspector.

india Updated: Oct 20, 2019 06:29 IST
Priyanka Deb Barman
Priyanka Deb Barman
Hindustan Times, Agartala
Nine Tripura police officials including a superintendent of police (SP) and a deputy SP have been suspended in the past two days. (Image used for representation).
Nine Tripura police officials including a superintendent of police (SP) and a deputy SP have been suspended in the past two days. (Image used for representation).(FILE PHOTO.)
         

A total of nine Tripura police officials including a superintendent of police (SP) and a deputy SP have been suspended in the past two days, police officials said even as former minister Badal Choudhary facing charges of corruption continued to evade arrest.

“So far, eight policemen have been suspended. They include former SP of West district Ajit Pratap Singh, officer in-charge of West Agartala police station Debaprasad Roy and two constables,” Manik Lal, who took over as the new SP of West district said on Saturday when asked whether the officials have been suspended for their failure to arrest ex-PWD minister Badal Choudhury who was booked on the charges of corruption.

On Saturday, Government of Tripura’s General Administration Department issued another order suspending Banuj Biplab Das, who is posted as Deputy SP (headquarters), West district.

Officials familiar with the development said the remaining four policemen who have been suspended include three personal guards of Badal Choudhury and an assistant sub-inspector.

Lal said a departmental inquiry will be initiated against the suspended officials.

AK Shukla, Director General of Police, Tripura, did not answer multiple phone calls seeking his comment.

On October 13, Tripura Police booked the former minister along with former chief secretary Yashpal Singh and retired PWD chief engineer Sunil Bhowmik on charges of corruption, cheating, criminal breach of trust, causing disappearance of evidence of offence etc., related to infrastructure construction work in 2008-09. The amount involved in the construction projects was over Rs 600 crore.

While Bhowmik was arrested, Choudhury was initially granted bail from October 14 till October 16, but the court did not extend his bail.

Veteran CPM leader Bijan Dhar commenting on the development said, “This is unprecedented. We know that the government has power. But, misusing that power is undemocratic. Such an act shows that how much they want to arrest Badal Choudhury and malign his personal image.”

BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said, “The government is doing its duty. The police officials have been ordered to arrest Badal Choudhury. As they have failed to do so, actions have been taken against them. He needs to be arrested to unearth the truth. For the CPM, I want to ask, whether corruption is a part of democracy?”

On October 17, CPM central committee leader and former Rajya Sabha member Narayan Kar was arrested after a complaint by assistant sub-inspector Pradip Kumar Acharjee, who leads Choudhury’s security detail. Acharjee had said that he and other officials were not allowed to enter the CPM office on October 15 with the former minister.

Acharjee claimed to have waited outside till October 16 late night when the court rejected Choudhury’s bail plea and said that when they later entered the party office they did not find the former minister inside, neither did they see him getting out.

Kar was booked on charges of criminal conspiracy, obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty and harbouring an offender. He was later granted bail.