Youth's suicide provokes protests in Kolkata

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 04, 2013 19:32 hrs

Kolkata: Hundreds of people took out a candle-light vigil in south Kolkata to protest the suicide of a social activist who was allegedly framed by police after he helped a minor who was raped to lodge a complaint against a local strongman.

Amirul Islam, a 33-year-old private tutor, was repeatedly threatened and harassed by Kareya police station officials who asked him to get the complaint withdrawn. When Amirul did not budge, a "false" case of burglary was slapped against him.

Ultimately, Amirul set himself on fire before the Kareya police station last month, and died of his injuries Jan 1 in a hospital.

In a letter before immolating himself, Amirul urged people to strongly protest till the "guilty" police officers were prosecuted, triggering a wave of demonstrations after his death.

"We will continue to protest till his last wishes come true," said Amirul's brother Anwar.

"We want all the officers, who falsely implicated Amirul, booked," said lawyer Mohammad Naushad Hussain, who has been in the forefront of the protests.

After the demonstrations and its coverage in the local media, the city police Friday issued "closed" order on three police personnel against whom complaints were lodged by Amirul's family.

A police officer said according to the family members, the three policemen had harassed Amirul and filed the "false" case against him for taking a minor girl to lodge a complaint against Sheikh Sajada for raping her Oct 31 last year.

"We have already issued a closed order on the three police personnel. We will conduct an investigation before deciding on further steps. As of now, they will not be assigned any specific work. But they can join duty in any police station except Kareya," said city police Joint Commissioner (Crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh.

The Park Circus area saw people taking out a huge candle rally Friday evening, demanding punishment to Sajada, who was arrested a day after Amirul immolated himself, and the three police personnel. Some of the protestors wore black headbands and carried black flags.

The West Bengal Human Rights Commission also took suo motu cognisance of the chain of events and asked city police Commissioner R. Pachnanda to conduct a probe by a senior officer and submit a report to the panel in two weeks.

The incident is being seen as a case of high-handedness by police, and many alleged a nexus between Sajada and the cops.

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