Mamata chastised him, saying “he should be whipped” for making her wait

A civil rights organisation has sought the intervention of West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) for the protection of a police officer serving Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s security staff. Ms. Banerjee had chastised the police officer on Wednesday evening, saying he “should be whipped” for making her wait for her car after a visit to the 37 Kolkata International Book Fair.

“The fault of the police personnel was that he could not arrange for her car at the moment she came out… Police personnel are government employees. No one has the right to misbehave with them in such a manner and destroy (sic) their dignity and social prestige,” said a petition submitted on Thursday by the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) to the human rights panel.

Seeking an urgent response from the Commission, the petition says that since the service conditions of the police personnel “may not allow him to lodge a complaint against the Chief Minister”, it is the APDR that is approaching the WBHRC on the matter.

“We have received the petition from the APDR. The matter will be decided by the full bench of the Commission,” joint secretary of the Commission Sujay Kumar Haldar said, adding that the chairperson of WBHRC was not in office.

Ms. Banerjee’s remark has drawn strong criticism from leaders in the Opposition.

While the State Congress leadership demanded that she should immediately withdraw her comment, a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said Ms. Banerjee is not making any distinction between her party workers and government officials.

“It is improper for the Chief Minister to make such a comment. Ms. Banerjee has to realise that the police personnel are not her servants. Such comments will instil fear in the administration,” president of the State unit of Congress Pradip Bhattacharya said.

 “Such a comment reflects an attitude that says none other than oneself exists in the world,” said senior leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sujan Chakraborty.

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