West Bengal: APDR letter to Nadia SP on incidents at Ranaghat

March 23, 2015

Association for Protection of Democratic Rights
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To
Shri Arnab Ghosh, IPS
SP, Nadia

Subject: Gross Illegality on the Part of Nadia Police in detaining arrestees without production in Court within 24 hours and wrapping some protesters with false criminal charges in recent Ranaghat Incident.

Sir,

It is reported in media, and also revealed during APDR fact-finding, that persons who were arrested on suspicion of their involvement in rape and extortion incident at the Convent of Jesus and Mary High School in Ranaghat on 14th March, 2015, were not produced at the appropriate courts within the stipulated 24 hours. This is a gross violation of the dictates of law and India’s Constitution. Probably, you mustn’t deny that.

It was also reported in media that criminal cases have been lodged against some persons who are alleged to have ‘instigated crowds’ in stopping the convoy of visiting Chief Minister, Srimati Mamata Banerjee, and in staging a demonstration seeking action shouting slogans: “we want justice” ; “we want CBI”.

May we ask you these questions: Was the Hon‟ble CM was on her official visit there? Or, was it just a tour to express sympathy and share her anxiety with the agitating local people after five days of the heinous incident. Was any harm done to anybody or to the said convoy? The convoy while led to pass through a crowded road had to stop and the agitating people got their CM in the convoy and shouted slogans. This is the actual story. May be it was not to the liking of our CM. The fact is that it was not her official visit; no harm was done; and the people scorned at her not as CM, but as Police Minister.

You are well aware of the existence of “General Exceptions” to taking cognizance of crime in the Indian Penal Code in Chapter Four. The public behavior obviously comes within those „exceptions‟.

Also, citizens have their Constitutional rights to non-violent protests which they exerted before their Chief Minister which she disliked. Shouting in chorus to demand CBI Inquiry is admittedly not an offence. But, in order to divert the public opinion in condemning stark police failure to arrest real culprits in the incident, you preferred to ride against laws and ethics of good policing in scaring citizens-protesters by registering false criminal cases against some of them at will.

You know our Hon’ble Chief Minister has chosen to call CBI in Ranaghat incident. It is, therefore, our earnest request to you to withdraw the false criminal charges brought against the protesters to harass them, and also teach your subordinate officers to respect law and Constitution.

Thanks.
Dhiraj Sengupta
General Secretary