Friday, November 23, 2007

State police’s ‘partisan’ role frustrates central force

Fed up, CRPF boss leaves
- State police’s ‘partisan’ role frustrates central force

Nandigram, Nov. 22: The latest to flee Nandigram is the man the CRPF sent to restore normality.

Deputy inspector-general Alok Raj left Nandigram this morning, apparently disgusted with state police’s “partisan role”. Local officers have been freeing people nabbed by the CRPF while allegedly trying to keep the central force out of the trouble spots.

Raj, the CRPF’s senior-most officer in Nandigram, drove out around 11.30am, saying he was going to a meeting in Tamluk. But he headed for Calcutta.

CRPF inspector-general Subhas Goswami, based in Calcutta, later said Raj had gone on leave for two days and commandant R.K. Sharma would be in charge. Raj’s colleagues said that till yesterday, he had given no hint he was going on leave.

The officer’s frustration boiled over when the police released Anup Mondal, 40, hours after the CRPF picked him up yesterday. Anup is not only accused of terrorising returning refugees, he has at least six criminal cases against him, including two murder attempts.

Raj refused to “go into all this” but said certain things “have not gone the way it was planned”.

CRPF sources said the force had informed its top brass about the police’s “partisan role”. It today sent a report to the Centre explaining why it was proving impossible to instil confidence among the villagers. A copy was forwarded to state police chief A.B. Vohra.

“We wanted to set up a camp at Takapura but the police shot down the proposal. Now the police have set up a camp near Takapura. Why weren’t we allowed to go there?” a senior CRPF officer asked. Takapura is the gateway to several villages where intimidation may be going on.

“We haven’t yet been handed a list of the wanted criminals. Intelligence-sharing is nil,” the officer said.