Suspension or sack punishment glare for 3 named in badge protest

After the incidence of sporting protest badges on uniform by a number of policemen of the Asansol-Durgapur Police commissionerate drew criticism and courted controversy, Ajay Nand, the Asansol-Durgapur police commissioner ordered a probe about the incident.

Policemen of Asansol-Durgapur wearing protest badge

The special branch of Asansol police yesterday named in its report three policemen for organizing Tuesday’s protest by men in uniform against the attack on Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra and chief minister Mamata Banerjee, allegedly by SFI activists.

Although officers refused to disclose the names of those identified, sources said assistant sub-inspector Priti Mukul Roy, who on Monday led the group of policemen sporting “protest” badges on their uniform, along with an assistant sub-inspector and a constable were named in the report. The report was submitted to Asansol-Durgapur police Chief Ajay Nand, yesterday.

A special branch officer in Asansol said: “Several policemen sported the badges. They violated the code of conduct. We are not disclosing the names, but our preliminary probe has revealed that pinning badges on uniforms was organized by three policemen associated with the West Bengal Police Association (WBPA).”

WBPA is backed by Trinamool. Asked about the possible punishment, the officer said the trio could either be suspended or sacked.

On Tuesday, a number of policemen of the Asansol-Durgapur Police commissionerate, while on duty at the Asansol Durgapur Police Headquarters Police Lines in Burnpur Road, pinned badges in the format of handbills titled “Protest” to their uniforms.

The handbills did not name any political party but their content left little doubt where the policemen’s sympathies lay.

“We protest and condemn the well-planned and barbaric attack on the honourable chief minister of Bengal and other senior ministers in Delhi on April 9, 2013,” the badges said.

A group of policemen went from one police station to another at around 9 am and pinned the badges on several policemen on duty. At least 300 policemen were seen sporting the badges on their uniforms. Assistant sub-inspector Priti Mukul Roy Roy and others first distributed the protest badges in police lines and then visited the Asansol South police station, the traffic department and the women police station.

According to an IPS officer in Calcutta, the policemen involved in the protest should have been suspended yesterday itself. “This would have sent a message to other personnel in the disciplined force. No one should be spared for such a serious violation of norms.”

Now it is to be seen, how the report naming three policemen, which has been submitted to Asansol-Durgapur Police commissioner is dealt with.

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