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Thursday, October 6, 2022

West Bengal: BJP candidate’s brother arrested without warrant dies; Kolkata Police accused of custodial killing

It is no secret that the West Bengal police have been acting like the foot soldiers of Mamata Banerjee’s fascism in the state since the TMC matriarch returned to power last year. The targeting of BJP workers and supporters by Banerjee’s police is common in West Bengal. In the series of institutionalized violence unleashed on the ordinary people of the state, a man named Dipankar Saha has recently lost his life.

Dipankar’s brother Rajib Saha was a BJP candidate who had contested the Kolkata Municipal Council election in Golf Green. It is alleged that due to Rajib’s ties with the BJP, the TMC had targeted Dipankar. Their mother, Arati Saha, states that two police officials from Kolkata’s Golf Green police station had arrived at their residence on July 31 at around 1 – 1:30 PM and forcibly took away her son and Rajib’s brother Dipankar Saha, also known as Chhotka. One Twitter user identifies these men as Constable Taimur Ali and civic volunteer Akhtar Ali. However, HinduPost has not verified these identities independently.

In a video posted on social media, Rajib states that his mother had repeatedly told the policemen that Dipankar had just recovered from fever and was weak and not keeping well. But the police insisted on taking Dipankar to the police station. The policemen allegedly said they were visiting the Saha house under the direction of one Sub-Inspector Amitava Tamamg; the “bara babu” at the police station would ask him some questions and then release him.

The victim’s parents asked the police if they were arresting Dipankar and demanded they show them the arrest warrant in her son’s name. The police were unable to furnish any such document. They said they would release Dipankar after some interrogation and forcefully took him with them without any warrant.

The family was kept in the dark about what happened to Dipankar after the police officials from Golf Green took them away. Reportedly, four days later, at around 7 – 7:30 PM, Dipankar returned home; he was limping. Dipankar’s mother alleges that the police brutally battered him. The injuries of the assault were severe and he succumbed to the same while on his way to the hospital on 4 August.

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, the Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, has accused Kolkata’s Deputy Commissioner (South) and the Police Commissioner of hatching a conspiracy to killDipankar. Adhikari had also met the victim’s family. Reports say action will be taken against three police personnel involved in this criminal conspiracy. The BJP has taken a strong stand in this matter, declaring that they will drag the culprits to justice. There is also a demand for a CBI inquiry under the supervision of the court into this incident.

Suvendu has also shared the video of Dipankar’s brother Rajib on his official Twitter handle. The media have also accessed visuals of Dipankar’s dead body. In these pictures, marks of injuries are clearly visible on the deceased’s body.

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