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A police cover-up?

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  7 April 2017 12:00 AM GMT

The Assam government is on a sticky wicket as far as prosecuting Silapathar attack mastermind Subodh Biswas is concerned. It has now come to light that the top police official heading the SIT that is probing the incident — has been allegedly leaving no stone unturned to ensure that Subodh gets bail and goes scot-free for all his rabble rousing in Silapathar. There are red faces in the top echelon of Assam Police over how CID SSP Dr NR Rajamarthandan not only bent rules, but allegedly indulged in blatant forgery to provide his probe report to the legal counsel of Subodh Biswas. And he did it reportedly on the plea that Subodh’s lawyer was demanding the information through RTI application. It is another matter that the Assam Police CID does not come under RTI ambit! What is more, the Assam Police is now investigating whether its CID SSP, while keeping his superiors in the dark, wrote that RTI application in the me of Subodh’s lawyer — which in other words means outright forgery. Assam Police Director General Mukesh Sahay has now said that a crimil case has been registered and a departmental inquiry launched against the SSP as to whether he falsified documents and violated service rules. “At a time when crimil proceedings are on in court, it is an offence to divulge details related to investigations to anyone else apart from investigating officials, without the court’s permission,” the DGP has rightly pointed out. But the damage has been done, with Subodh’s lawyer filing for bail in Gauhati High Court, claiming the Assam Police has no case against his client (based on the SIT probe report the SSP so bent over backwards to provide). The writ petition while seeking bail, has also sought among other things, that the FIR lodged against Subodh Biswas at Silapathar police station be quashed, and that all the persons arrested in connection with the mob attack on AASU office at Silapathar be released on bail and adequately compensated. The State government will now have to clear its stand by replying to the court’s notice within May 8 next. Meanwhile, top police officials have pointed out that it is the case diary which will reveal to the court the status of investigation, not the report the SSP leaked out to Subodh’s counsel. Only time will tell how the case proceeds in court against functiories of Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Samanway Samitee (NIBBUSS), of which Subodh Biswas is president. The rally this little-known group took out at Silapathar in Dhemaji district on March 6 created in its wake much mischief in Assam. Its leaders like Subodh Biswas, outsiders who have little understanding or patience for the fragile peace between communities here, are perceived to have largely succeeded in their mission to drive a wedge between Bengali Hindus and Assamese Hindus in the State over the issue of citizenship to Bangladeshi Hindu refugees. And now the contours of a plot to let these mischief mongers off the hook seem to be emerging. Why would a top cop of the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police risk his neck in such amateurish fashion to help such malefactors? Was he working alone, was he being pressurised? These and many other questions in the public mind threaten to reduce the Silapathar attack investigation into a charade. People should not start thinking that some probes are ordered to actually spoil the crime scene and destroy evidence, so that the case never stands up in court and the offenders are eventually let off. It is upon the State government to ensure that its police administration does not suffer from a crisis of public confidence in its workings.

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