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Arrested ex-Tripura minister alleges assault by policemen


Press Trust of India Agartala
Senior CPI(M) leader and former Tripura minister Badal Chowdhury, who was arrested in a corruption case, on Wednesday alleged that he and his wife were beaten up by the police while he was being "forcibly" brought from a private hospital to a police station here.
The BJP-led Tripura government denied the charge.
"The police assaulted me and my wife. I was brought here (from the private hospital) by force," Choudhury shouted to reporters as police personnel dragged him from a vehicle to West Agartala police station.
Chowdhury, a CPI(M) central committee member who was the PWD minister during the Left Front regime, was arrested on October 21 from the private hospital where he was admitted.
He was taken to the lock-up of the police station, and later brought to a government hospital after he complained of chest pain.
Official sources said he is now admitted to the state-run GB Pant Hospital.
Chowdhury's wife Namita also alleged that policemen assaulted her and her husband while taking him to the police station.
"Chowdhury was forcibly taken to police station at noon when the hearing for his bail plea was on in the High Court of Tripura. He was manhandled by the police. This is inhuman," Chowdhury's counsel Arindam Bhattacharya said.
He said when the matter has been informed to Justice Arindam Lodh who was hearing the case, the judge directed him to submit an affidavit stating that his client was allegedly beaten up by the police and it was done.
Hearing for Chowdhury's bail application was completed on Wednesday and the judge reserved his verdict.
Advocate General Arun Bhaumick denied that Chowdhury was assaulted by the police.
"When he was being shifted from the hospital, a doctor was accompanying Chowdhury and nothing has happened. It is an attempt to tarnish the image of the police," Bhowmick told reporters.
Chowdhury was accused of being involved in the Rs 638.40 crore PWD scam. The irregularities took place as the former PWD minister flouted a number of rules in constructing 28 buildings, 46 bridges and 60 roads in 2008-09, state Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath had alleged.
The CPI(M) Politburo last week claimed that Chowdhury was apprehended on false charges and said the party would fight the case against him both legally and politically.
Former PWD engineer-in-chief Sunil Bhowmik was taken into custody while an arrest warrant was issued against former chief secretary Yashpal Singh in connection with the scam.
An FIR was lodged by the Crime Investigation Department with the West Agartala police station on October 13 in which the agency accused Chowdhury, Bhowmik and Singh of being involved in a financial scam of over Rs 600 crore in PWD projects between 2008 and 2009.
The three have been charged with fraud, corruption, criminal breach of trust and suppression of evidence.

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First Published: Oct 30 2019 | 8:35 PM IST

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