Workers march to Durgapur police station with body of colleague, allegedly killed by civic police volunteers
4 September 2012
statesman news service
DURGAPUR, 4 SEPT: Hundreds of masonry workers carried the body of a labourer to Durgapur police station who died at Murshidabad district hospital in Behrampore yesterday morning. The labourer was allegedly battered by the voluntary civic police on the previous evening while he was returning from a football ground in Durgapur town.
Uttam Mal (33), the labourer, a resident of Jhamra village in Beldanga block in Murshidabad, was engaged as a masonry worker in Sepco Township by a contractor Mr Uzir Sheikh. Mr Sheikh said: “Uttam, with three others, had gone to watch a football match in Joydev Avenue and was caught by two civic police volunteers. They beat him alleging that he was drunk.”
Mr Sheikh added: “I was informed by police at 10 p.m. that Mal was admitted to Durgapur SD Hospital. I rushed there with two others and saw that one of the legs of my labourer was fractured and he was gasping for life. Three police volunteers were guarding him in the lock-up.”
He added: “The next day, police shifted him to Behrampore hospital where he died yesterday.”
The masonry workers marched to the Durgapur police station accompanied by Mr Nimai Mal, the father of the deceased.
They blocked the police station building leaving the body on the ground. Police had to seal the entrance for four hours as the agitators refused to vacate demanding immediate action against the offenders and cash compensation worth Rs 4 lakh.
Police refused to accept the compensation demand and initiated a case on the basis of the complaint. Mr Ajay Nand, CP, Asansol Durgapur Police said: “The man was not beaten by police volunteers. They caught him and were escorting him to the police station as the labourers were drunk and were abusing the locals. This labourer sustained head injury when he fell from the vehicle while trying to flee.” He said: “We have initiated a probe.”
As police refused to pay any cash compensation, the labourers carried the body to Durgapur SDM’s office where the SDM gave a hearing to the agitators. The SDM, Mrs Ayesharani Ahmed said: “I will talk to police. I will also inquire why the civic police behaved in that manner.”