Kolkata protest sparks cop vs protester row: Who bit whom? – The Indian Express

Kolkata News

As nearly 30 protesting TET job aspirants, who were arrested by Kolkata Police last night on charges of “rioting and unlawful assembly”, were released on bail on Thursday, a controversy of a woman constable allegedly biting a woman protester broke out.

Videos of a woman cop grabbing 41-year-old Arunima Paul’s hand and biting her also surfaced. The woman cop, on the other hand, claimed that Paul bit her first.

“See, the level of atrocities. They kept us at the police station and then in the lock-up for several hours. I didn’t even receive first-aid for several hours,” said Arunima Paul while being taken to the court.

Arunima’s mother Alka Paul (70) demanded disciplinary action against the woman cop who allegedly bit her daughter. “I have not seen in my 70 years of life that police bite protesters. We spent the night thinking about her. We are civilised people. My daughter was there for her legitimate right. She was arrested but why no action has been taken against that woman cop,” asked Arunima’s mother.

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Arunima Paul and other arrested protesters were first taken to Hare Street police station on Wednesday and were made to sit for several hours. Later, they were arrested and taken to Lalbazar police lock-up.

“My wife just took part in the protest. She passed TeT in 2014. She has all the right to demand a job, which she deserves. The way we all saw a cop bite her was shocking. Surprisingly, my wife wasn’t given any medical assistance for four to five hours, while the woman cop was the first to be taken to the doctor. What was my wife’s crime? Are we not suppose to raise issues and demand our rights in this democratic country? It is one of the most shameful act,” said Arunima’s husband Sadhan Paul, who works in the railways.

On Thursday, when their bail plea came up at a Bankshall court, the police opposed it, claiming that the woman in uniform was attacked by Arunima Paul.


Teaching job aspirant Arunima Paul at a Kolkata court on Thursday. (Express Photo)

Soon after their release, the protesters demanded disciplinary action against the woman constable. “They arrested us under stringent sections. No atrocities or police harassment can stop us from protesting. It is about a job which we deserve. The police will have to act against the cop who bit one of our colleagues,” said Md Rahim Mallick, a protesting job aspirant.

Police said the protesters were arrested under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with a deadly weapon) and 149 ( unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code.

The job seekers were arrested when they tried to approach Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee’s office on Camac Street on Wednesday afternoon. They claimed that they were going to submit a memorandum to Banerjee but they were stopped by the police.


The incident triggered a political war of words in the state.

“The one who got bitten has been arrested. Her fault is she couldn’t please the TMC government. The woman cop should be suspended,” senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty demanded.

“This government is not capable of providing jobs to all those who deserve, and, therefore, using police like Hitler,” BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh said.

TMC Rajya Sabha member Santanu Sen, however, backed the police.

“The woman constable was the first to be bitten by the protester. On various occasions, Kolkata Police has shown their sensitive sides despite provocations. The BJP and CPI(M) at times send their supporters to such protests with vested interest. I will again appeal to these protesters to understand that only government can resolve the issue. So, let the government resolve it legally. I will request them not to fall in the trap of the Opposition parties as their intention is not to help them but to politicise the issue,” the TMC MP said.

Source: https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMicmh0dHBzOi8vaW5kaWFuZXhwcmVzcy5jb20vYXJ0aWNsZS9jaXRpZXMva29sa2F0YS9rb2xrYXRhLXByb3Rlc3Qtc3BhcmtzLWNvcC12cy1wcm90ZXN0ZXItcm93LXdoby1iaXQtd2hvbS04MjYxODE2L9IBAA?oc=5