CRIME & PUNISHMENT: Teen’s age fudge finger at police

CRIME & PUNISHMENT: Teen’s age fudge finger at police – classic complacent Bengal police bungling ?!!

CASE FACTS - the wrong police culture in Bengal ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Malda, July 7: Police today booked a teenager for poisoning the water in a school tube well under tougher laws claiming that he was 19 years old even as the school’s headmaster put the boy’s age at 15.

By the school record, the boy is a minor and should be tried in a juvenile court.

The teenager, who was expelled from Ramakrishna Sikshaniketan High School on March 24 this year for allegedly putting vermilion on his classmate’s forehead, was arrested yesterday.

Today, the chief judicial magistrate of Malda, Jimutbahan Biswas, rejected the boy’s bail application and remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.

The police have booked the teenager under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 328 (causing hurt by means of poison etc with intent to commit an offence) of the IPC. All the sections are non-bailable.

The officer-in-charge of Gajole police station, Maqsedur Rahman, said the accused himself had told the cops that he was 19. “So we booked him as we would a youth of 19 years.”

Sudipta Mitra, the headmaster of the school in Gajole, however, said the records showed the boy was 15 when the transfer certificate was handed to him.

The additional superintendent of police of Malda, Kalyan Mukherjee, said if the officer-in-charge or the investigating officer had fudged the boy’s age, they would then have to face the consequences.

Yesterday, the boy had allegedly put thiodine, an insecticide, in the school tube well. Susmita Mondal, a Class VI student of the institution, 50km from here, had to be hospitalised after drinking the water.

Headmaster Mitra had found a note near the tube well signed by Kulesh Mondal claiming responsibility for the act. He immediately rang the school bell to alert students, asking them not to drink water from the tube well.

Mitra recounted that on March 19, the day the boy smeared his classmate with vermilion, the girl’s father had threatened to poison the school water if the accused was not expelled. Five days later, the boy, whose father is a paddy trader, was handed the transfer certificate.

“We never thought that the boy would take revenge after four months. He wrote the name of the girl’s father to teach him a lesson. But he fell in his own trap,” said the headmaster, who had checked the handwriting on the chit with that of a sample left behind by the boy when he was a student of the school.

The Gajole block medical officer of health had identified the thiodine in the water from its pungent smell. “Later the boy confessed,” said a police officer.

Clueless cops let seized cows die – Bengal police to pay the price, no inter department co-ordination ideas ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Tamluk, July 7: Fifty-eight cows, which were seized in Kolaghat when they were being smuggled, were kept in a field for two days without food and water as a result of which five died, with police claiming they did not know what to do with the animals.

The police had intercepted a truck crammed with the cows on Sunday afternoon near Kolaghat bridge. The driver and four other persons accompanying him were arrested after they failed to produce valid papers.

However, the police were soon in a quandary over where to keep the animals.

Ashok Biswas, the East Midnapore superintendent of police, said he had contacted the district magistrate. “The district magistrate told us there were no cattle pounds in the district. He said it was not possible to arrange for a place to keep so many cows at such a short notice,” Biswas said.

The police said they were left with no other option but to keep the cows in a field adjacent to Kolaghat police station.

The five arrested, who the cops said were smuggling the cows from Orissa’s Baleswar to Bangladesh, have been remanded in 14 days’ police custody. The police said the five had told them they had not fed the cows for a couple of days, which meant the animals had starved for four days.

The police had also sought permission from the block development officer to auction the cows. “But I refused because the matter was subjudice,” said BDO Sudipto Chakraborty.

The police claimed that they did not know what to feed the animals. Two cows died on Monday night and three more on Tuesday.

SP Biswas said the police were helpless. “We searched for a cattle pound but could not find one. That is why the cows were kept in the open. Moreover, the police are not experienced in handling cows. We did not know how to arrange for the fodder,” he said.

The deaths sparked a protest in the area. Around 100 people demonstrated in front of the police station yesterday, demanding that the cows be taken to a place where proper care would be taken.

“For two days, we are watching the cows die one after the other,” said Prasanta Maity, 35, the owner of a stationery shop.

Finally, the police arranged for a cow shed in Uluberia and sent the animals there yesterday.

Nabakumar Sarkar, a veterinary surgeon in Kolaghat, said: “It appears that the cows died because they were neglected and did not get adequate food and water.”

FURTHERMORE, THE LEGAL BIAS FOLLOW-UP

‘Slavery’ clean chit – by “Government of India”, for a crime committed in the USA, ever wonder why the Indian official bias against domestic help, when no case has even been filed in India – guilty justification ?!!

The Classic Indian bias - use of "source-force" to get away with anything where the "poor are always kept poor" ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH

New Delhi, July 7 (PTI): The government today gave a clean chit to a senior diplomat, facing charges of enslaving her domestic help.

Shanti Gurung, the maid, had filed a lawsuit in a US court against Neena Malhotra.

Ministry of external affairs (MEA) sources said Gurung had disappeared from the diplomat’s New York home a day before they were to return to India. Malhotra, now director (south) in the MEA, had hired Gurung as a domestic help when she was posted in the Indian consulate in New York in 2006.

Gurung, then 19, had visited the US embassy in New Delhi to procure a visa after agreeing to work for Malhotra, the sources said.

According to MEA sources, since the diplomat was at work through out the day, Gurung had a run of the house. She had keys of the premises and even used to go out shopping on her own, they said.

When Malhotra was later posted in India, Gurung had expressed the desire to stay back in New York and requested her employers to refer her to other Indians in the area, which was agreed upon, the sources said.

Since the domestic help held an official passport and a visa only for a specified period, Malhotra asked her to travel to India last July and return to the US after getting the necessary documents.

However, a day before Malhotra was to leave for India Gurung did a vanishing act only to surface a year later to level the allegations.

Malhotra had informed the Indian consulate in New York and US authorities about Gurung’s disappearance and got her official passport cancelled, the sources said.

Last week, Gurung claimed the Malhotras had tricked her into accompanying them to America in March 2006 with the promise of Rs 5,000 a month and a raise every six months.

In the law suit, Gurung claimed she was forced to sleep on the floor of their apartment and made to do household chores 16 hours a day “often until 3am following frequent parties”.

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