Civic police harassed by State police: volunteers

Members of the West Bengal Civic Police Association at a demonstration in Kolkata. File photo: Sushant Patronobish

Members of the West Bengal Civic Police Association at a demonstration in Kolkata. File photo: Sushant Patronobish  


Days after civic police volunteers under the banner of West Bengal Civic Police Association held their first protest rally in the city demanding job permanency, a group of civic police personnel was assaulted by police in Malda district’s Harishchandrapur police station for protesting against the police for cancelling the jobs of 4,800 personnel, on Saturday.

As per a government notification dated July 14, all 1.30 lakh civic police personnel were supposed to be employed again for 120 days in the next six months.

Going against this order, in Malda district, all the civic police volunteers were replaced, which led to the confrontation.

“When our men rushed to the police station to demand why their jobs had been snatched away from them, they were assaulted. Rapid Action Force personnel were deployed on the civic police personnel. Twelve persons have been arrested and eight are hospitalised,” West Bengal Civic Police Association president Sanjay Poria said.

“Our men did nothing wrong there. Our jobs were given away to local supporters of the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The police have gone against the government’s word yet we get branded as indulging in politics,” Mr. Poria said.

Accusing the State police of harassing the civic police on several occasions, he said he was called in to Keshpur police station in Paschim Medininipur district on the pretext of reporting for duty and was interrogated for more than 12 hours.

“Without any reason, I was summoned to the police station and was made to face several rounds of questioning. My mobile phone was snatched away and my account on a social networking site was checked to see if I have links with any political party,” Mr. Poria said.

Members of the civic police association had met Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak on July 10 and had submitted a memorandum to revise the minimum wages of the personnel.

The personnel are being paid a daily wage of Rs. 141 against Rs. 206 paid to MGNREGA workers.

On July 17, three persons claiming to be from the District Intelligence Branch visited the residents of a locality in Barasat in North 24 Parganas District and went on inquiring about civic police volunteers living in the area. A police picket was also formed in the area and the police were armed with tear gas shells. The angry residents have written a letter to the Superintendent of Police expressing their ire of being placed under police surveillance illegally.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 8:57:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/civic-police-harassed-by-state-police-volunteers/article6230372.ece

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