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Next door neighbour, a WB cop, threatens Dalit small business owner, files 'false' criminal case

By Kirity Roy* 
This is about an incident of continuous threat, harassment, intimidation and subsequent false implication in a criminal case. The victims of continuous ill treatments belong to Malo, a scheduled caste community of West Bengal. They are father and son duo, Ganesh Halder, aged 70 years, and Pintu Halder, aged 35 years. Both are residents of village and post Puratan Bongaon, under Bongaon Police Station of 24 Parganas (North) district of West Bengal. 
The perpetrators of these illegal and unjust acts are a serving police constable attached with the Bongaon police station and his wife, who are neighbours of the victims. The victims own a Ghani (oil extracting mill from mustard) and rice and flour huller in the locality. The perpetrators are living behind this mill with many others. The locality has many business establishments and shops.
Though the mill is running for more than 20 years, nobody opposed its function. All of a sudden, three months back, the police personnel started opposing the business activities of Ganesh Mondal. While he failed to gather sufficient support from neighbourhood, conniving with local police station and using his association with the police administration, he implicated  Ganesh and Pintu Halder in a false criminal case vide Bongaon PS Case No 452/24 dated 08.05.2024 under sections 354(d)/ 506/509 of Indian Penal Code. 
The business activity has permission from the West Bengal Pollution Control Board, trade licence from Kalupur Gram Panchayat and no objections from the neighbours.  
The offender started humiliating and threatening the victims in public places. The offender intimidated  Ganesh and Pintu Mondal by saying that “at the time I am accompanying with the SP and Officer in Charge, I wish to see how your mill will run”. He even verbally abused Ganesh  by naming and referring to his caste. The offender referred him by saying "you are fishermen, lower caste and despicable human beings."
The victims are under extreme mental trauma and distress caused by these verbal abuses, implication in a false case and imminent threat to his livelihood activities. They have made written complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Bongaon Police District, with similar complaints to the Sub Divisional Police Officer, Bongaon, and the Inspector in Charge of Bongaon Police Station. But no corrective measures have been taken.
The victims are under extreme mental trauma and distress caused by verbal abuses and implication in false case
In our fact finding, it was proved that the serving police constable attached with the Bongaon Police Station and his wife are trying to stop the mill by using his post at police station. We have also documented necessary papers obtained by the victim mill owner. Local neighbours also corroborated the fact.
These acts by a public servant attracts offence under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989’s section (viii) false, malicious or vexatious suit or criminal or other legal proceedings against a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe'; secion (ix) giving  false or frivolous information to any public servant and thereby causing such public servant to use his lawful power to the injury or annoyance of a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe; and section (x), intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in any place within public view.
The Director General of Police, West Bengal, has been requested to take immediate action against the offenders under above mentioned sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, and make independent investigation on the false criminal case slapped against the victims, belong to Scheduled Caste community. 
Further, the victims must be provided with adequate security and safety and their business activities must be duly protected.
---
*Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM). This article is based on the author's representation to the the Director General and Inspector General of Police, West Bengal

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