Monday, March 3, 2008

Intellectuals will meet Governor to complain about CM

Rajib Chatterjee
KOLKATA, March 2: Criticising the chief minister for awarding the Seva medal to an IPS officer, accused of torturing women and farmers in Singur, a section of intellectuals and human right activists have decided to meet Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi to complain about Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
Mr Bhattacharjee recently awarded the Seva medal to IPS officer, Mr Asit Paul, former additional superintendent of (Headquarters), Hooghly, who has been accused of assaulting women farmers and Ms Anuradha Talwar, a human rights activist near the Singur small car project site last year for protesting against the land acquisition.
Speaking to The Statesman, eminent writer and Magsaysay award winner, Mahasweta Devi said: "I came to know from the media that he (the chief minister) gave the medal to a police officer against whom complaints of assaulting women were lodged by human rights organisations. Buddha (Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee) has not done anything wrong. I will not be surprised if he awards a rapist in the future.” She said the officer is the “obvious and natural choice of the chief minister” because the officer had “blindly” followed the instruction of the state government. “He (Mr Paul) has tortured farmers, assaulted women mercilessly and received the award for his job. He deserved the medal and the chief minister selected the right person to confer the award,” the writer sarcastically said. Mr Paul was promoted last year as the deputy commissioner of the city police recently. Mr Amitdyuti Kumar, a senior member of the Association for Protection of Democratic Right said: “We will meet the Governor to lodge a complaint against the chief minister shortly. The state government gives medals to men-in-uniform on behalf of the Governor to recognise their contribution to the society. Before selecting policemen for the award, the state government should scrutinise their service records.”