Manna’s death: Heads begin rolling in GRP

A week after GRP sub-inspector Arindam Manna’s body was found by the side of tracks near Mankundu railway station in Hooghly,the government has responded with a string of suspensions and transfers of GRP officers.

Written by Kartyk Venkatraman | Kolkata | Published: February 18, 2009 2:34:38 am

Second autopsy report says injuries were inflicted before death

A week after GRP sub-inspector Arindam Manna’s body was found by the side of tracks near Mankundu railway station in Hooghly,the government has responded with a string of suspensions and transfers of GRP officers.

Sheoraphuli GRP police station Inspector-in-Charge Somnath Bhattacharya,under whose jurisdiction Manna’s body was found,has been placed under suspension along with Sub-Inspector Dushasan Mondal,while two assistant sub-inspectors (ASI) and a constable have been transferred. Also shunted out is Manna’s superior,Dum Dum GRP police station IC Manab Chakraborty.

Meanwhile,senior CID officers confirmed receiving the report of a second autopsy conducted on Manna’s body by a team of forensic experts of the Calcutta Medical College & Hospital. Sources in the CID said the report stated Manna’s injuries were “ante-mortem in nature” (inflicted before death). The report said there were more than 10 injuries,none of them inflicted with sharp objects.

Additional Director-General (CID) Bhupinder Singh said,“The matter is under investigation. Unless we get the complete picture,it wouldn’t be correct to comment.”

ADG (Railways) Dilip Mitra said the action against GRP officers was taken after a probe showed irregularities by Sheoraphuli police after Manna’s body was recovered.

“Following allegations by Manna’s family,I conducted an initial investigation and felt there were procedural irregularities in handling the case. The IGP (Railways) and the Superintendent of Railway Police (Howrah) were asked to probe the matter. Based on the report submitted by them today,action against the erring cops was taken,” Mitra said while declining to elaborate on the nature of “procedural irregularities”.

On February 11,Manna’s family members had alleged that Sheoraphuli police had declared Manna’s body as “unidentified” despite his GRP identity card being present in his pocket. The family also claimed the police tried to conduct the post-mortem in a “hurried manner” at the Serampore Walsh hospital. Their protests resulted in a second autopsy at the Kolkata Police morgue on February 12.

Today,a five-member CID team from the homicide department visited the Dum Dum GRP police station and searched the quarters that Sub-Inspector Arindam Manna used while on duty.

The CID team that searched Manna’s quarters was led by officer-in-charge (Homicide) Ardhendu Pahari,who incidentally was the inspector-in-charge of the Dum Dum GRP police station when Manna joined there.

During a search at the Dum Dum GRP PS,the CID team reportedly found a briefcase with several documents. “We will scrutinise these documents,” a CID officer said.

Sources also said Manna’s subordinates who worked closely with him were also questioned at the CID headquarters. At the Dum Dum GRP PS,personnel said Chakraborty functioned as IC till 10.30 am before leaving for Sealdah GRP HQ. Manna’s family had alleged that in the days before his death,he complained of “harassment” by the station IC. However,personnel there said they didn’t detect any animosity between Chakraborty and Manna.

“Chakraborty had taken over only seven months ago. In the past one year,Manna handled only three out of the 362 cases lodged with us. We can’t understand what pressure or harassment he received at Chakraborty’s hands. Chakraborty wasn’t a harsh IC by any measure,” a GRP officer said.

Meanwhile,nine members of Manna’s family led by his father Ashok called on Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi. A Raj Bhawan spokesperson said Gandhi gave them a patient hearing. “They demanded a CBI inquiry. The Governor told them he would bring their demands before the proper authorities,” the spokesperson said.

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