**Bhubaneswar:** Odia IAS officer Smrutiranjan Mohanty, posted as Sub-Divisional Officer of Rampurhat in Birbhum district of West Bengal, has alleged insubordination, assault and harassment by police personnel during his visit to Rampur police station for thana inspection.
The matter came to the fore when Mohanty wrote to West Bengal Chief Secretary and Home Secretary urging to take immediate action against the ‘erring’ cops. He alleged in the letter that he was ‘met with hostile behavior which seemed to be premeditated’.
“It is with regret that I narrate this incidence that transpired at P.S Rampurhat at around 4:30 pm with me and R.K. Halder Deputy Collector & Deputy Magistrate, Rampurhat (DMDC) in the presence of Shri Abhishek Roy, SDPO, Rampurhat. My good office received several complaints citing extortion and corruption at several business activities in the sub division,” wrote Mohanty in his letter.
He further stated, “Having received such a complaint today from the Crushers Owners Association, Rampurhat I decided to address the issue immediately as I felt that these issues may soon create public disturbances in form of massive law and order and shall damage the prestige of the police and civil administration, I tried to contact the Inspector-in-Charge(IC) Rampurhat several times over phone to pass on the instructions but no reply was received. Having failed to contact him lastly, I took my DMDC R.K. Halder and visited the Thana for an urgent discussion with the IC but was met with hostile behavior which seemed to be premeditated.”
“Having asked the incharge officer to contact the IC of Rampurhat and inform him of my visit to discuss the aforesaid situation, I proceeded on Thana Inspection. In the meanwhile, the SDPO, Rampurhat arrived and started talking to me in high voices contesting my locus standi and authority to be present in thana and making such enquiries and inspections. It may be asserted here that as per section 22(a) of Police regulation 1943 Bengal, I was well within my right to make a thana inspection annually and report the findings to the District Magistrate. The SDPO and local police proceeded to lock the doors of the thana and refused to let me leave. It was after repeated unlawful questioning (regarding my power to inspect a thana) in a manner & conduct which was unbecoming of a responsible police officer by the SDPO and other junior police officers and after intervention by the District Magistrate , Birbhum that I was allowed to leave the police station. Meanwhile, my DMDC unfortunately had to face unlawful seizure of my phone,” Mohanty narrates in his letter.
“As a sub-divisional magistrate, I was subjected to insubordination, assault, harassment and confinement simply for performing my official duty in public interest. Even now I am under constant threat from the police personnel and my life and my life and reputation of my good offices at risk. I request you to kindly take appropriate action in this regard so that justice is met to me personally and to society at large,” Mohanty concluded.
While no further information has been received on this matter yet, a video has been circulating social media that shows Mohanty being illegally confined in the police station during Thana inspection.
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