Eight Tripura Police personnel were suspended Saturday for negligence in conducting their duties in connection with arresting former PWD minister Badal Choudhury, a graft accused who is missing for last three days.
The eight suspended policemen include West Tripura district superintendent of police Ajit Pratap Singh, Officer-in-charge of West Agartala Police Station Debaprasad Roy, three constables from police stations under West Tripura and three personal security officers of the missing former minister.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Manik Lal Das, who has replaced Ajit Pratap Singh as SP (West), admitted that four persons were suspended under his jurisdiction for negligence in line of duty. Departmental enquiries would be started on them to determine the next course of action.
Choudhury is accused along with two others – former PWD Engineer-in-Chief Sunil Bhowmik and former Chief Secretary Yashpal Singh in an Rs. 600 crore scam on public works carried out in 2008-09. Bhowmik was arrested on October 14 and produced before a local court, which remanded him to police custody. However, Choudhury is still at large.
Sources in the state police informed that three personal security officers of Choudhury were suspended since they could not locate their protectee.
“Search for former minister Badal Choudhury is still on. We are doing our best, in accordance weith the law sand procedure,” SP Manik Lal Das said.
Police and the local administration earlier ran into troubles while seeking to search CPI (M) party offices at Agartala on October 13, shortly after a case was registered with West Agartala Police Station, accusing Badal and two others in the graft case. An executive magistrate from the Sadar Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s office headed a team of cops to search the party office without a warrant but was held off by a defensive group of party cadres.
Choudhury was granted interim anticipatory bail for two days later that evening. The court declined to extend the bail plea on October 16. He is missing since then.
Meanwhile, CPI (M) state leader Narayan Kar was arrested in connection with the case and granted bail in a local court.
Former Tripura Chief Minister and CPI (M) politburo member Manik Sarkar has termed the case against Choudhury a ‘political conspiracy’.
BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya defended the government move and said some government employees are facing troubles for their political allegiance since they acted at the behest of the communist party.