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Kolkata cop killing: 12 remanded to custody

Posted on Feb 13, 10:01PM | IANS

Kolkata, Feb 13 : Twelve people were remanded by a city court to custody Wednesday for violence in the Garden Reach area here where a policeman was shot dead during a clash between Trinamool Congress and Congress student activists at a college.

While two accused, charged with the murder, were remanded to police custody till Feb 26, the rest, booked under charges of attempt to murder and rioting, were sent to judicial custody till Feb 19 by the court.

Tapas Chowdhury, a sub-inspector attached to the special branch, was shot from close range while trying to control clashing students in Harimohan Ghose College Tuesday.

The violence in the college erupted over the issue of picking up nomination forms for the students' union election.

Another person was also injured in the firing.

Television channels aired footage of a youth in red shirt rushing into a melee and firing, before escaping from the spot.

Prime suspect Mohammad Shubhaan was presented before the court Wednesday and remanded in police custody till Feb 26.

Except for the presence of a strong police picket, the college was almost empty Wednesday.

Armed policemen were posted in large numbers in the entire area surrounding the college and patrol vans made repeated rounds.

Meanwhile, political parties continued to play the blame game accusing their rivals for the incident.

While the Trinamool Congress accused supporters of the Left Front and the Congress of being behind the attack, the opposition accused the ruling party of shielding the guilty.

"There is enough evidence of how the ruling party is giving shelter to these goons," Biman Bose, chairperson of the state Left Front said.

Minoti Chowdhury, wife of the slain policeman, demanded the intervention of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

"She (Banerjee) should look into the issue that what kind of security is provided to police personnel. Policemen on duty are not provided arms while those on the streets have access to them," she said at her home in Thakurpukur area in the southern part of the city.

Banerjee, who has so far not made any direct comment on the matter, is slated to meet the family soon.

The policeman's daughter Tanushree and son Tamal were still inconsolable. Both demanded severe punishment for the man who killed their father.

"I want him punished, I want him punished, I want him punished," said Tamal, a student of Class 7.

Police Commissioner R.K. Pachnanda who met the bereaved family along with assuring punishment for the offender, also said the government would be offering Tanushree a job.

Described by colleagues as an "earnest officer", Chowdhury had joined the police department in 1984 as a constable.