HC Pulls up Kolkata Police Commissioner Over Naktala Issue

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Kolkata: Calcutta High Court came down heavily on Kolkata Police and its commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha on Wednesday over their failure to clear encroachments from a plot of land at Naktala in south Kolkata.

The High Court has given time to the West Bengal government until 14 January to clear its stand on the matter, failing which the court has threatened to deploy “military” to clear the encroachments.

Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya had earlier passed an order asking police to restore the possession of the 40 cottah plot to its owner Leena Dutta.

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The plot was acquired by the Kolkata Metropolitan Water and Sanitation Authority several years ago but it did not utilise the land. Over time, the plot has been encroached upon by the Trinamool Congress local unit, a club and even the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which is constructing a drainage pumping station there.

Consequent on the single bench order, Kolkata Police led by its commissioner went to the site on 19 December to clear the encroachments. But the cops returned unsuccessful following an open immolation threat by Bhaskar Dam, husband of local (KMC ward 100) Trinamool Congress councillor.

Referring to the police retreat, Justice Bhattacharya today observed that the entire law and order machinery in Bengal has collapsed and asked why the police did not arrest the councillor’s husband despite his immolation threat.

Making a stinging remark on the police commissioner, Justice Bhattacharya observed that Kar Purkayastha “stood like deaf and dumb” when the immolation drama was being played out.