HOWRAH: The son of a senior IPS officer is accused of beating up his driver so badly on Thursday night that he is in ICU, battling for life. Howrah police have taken no action against the accused, 28-year-old Swashish Chatterjee, and were allegedly reluctant to even accept the complaint until local residents marched to Bally police station in protest.

Swashish’s father is DIG-armed police Subhashish Chatterjee, now posted in North Bengal. No Howrah police officer would answer whether they have taken any action against Swashish, or at least questioned him since he is charged with attempted murder. The stock answer — as given by DC-north Bhaskar Mukherjee as well — was: “We have got the complaint. Our investigation is on.”

The victim, 32-year-old Sudipto Ghosh, has stitches on his head, a neck injury and severe pain in his chest and abdomen, said his father Pulak. Sudipto has been driving for the Chatterjees for several years and he was frequently abused by Swashish, said Pulak. “All these years Swashish taunted, abused and heckled my son. After Sudipto regained consciousness in hospital, he told me that he was at the receiving end of another onslaught from Swashish at the Chatterjees’ Belur home on Thursday night. Unable to take it any more, Sudipto protested. This enraged Swashish, who started beating him mercilessly. When Sudipto fell unconscious, they got him admitted to a hospital in Kolkata. I was informed four hours later,” said Pulak.

He alleged that police refused to take his complaint initially. “Bally police told me flatly that I should ‘approach their higher-ups’ as a senior police officer’s son was involved. When I told this to my neighbours, they came out in protest. It was only then that police took the complaint and started an attempt-to-murder case,” said Pulak.

The DIG and his wife have been trying to pressure him into dropping the case, Pulak alleged. “DIG Subhashish Chatterjee called me on Friday morning demanding to know why I am speaking to the media. He said this is something we should ‘settle ourselves’. I reminded him that my son is in a critical condition in ICU but he insisted that I not speak to the media. He asked me to ‘think’ about what I was doing,” said Pulak.

Before this, Swashish’s mother Kasturi had allegedly called Pulak. “She asked me to withdraw the case, promising to pay the medical costs,” said Pulak. Kasturi, however, denied saying any such thing. “My son did not beat Sudipto. He slipped in the bathroom and got hurt,” she told TOI. When asked if Swashish wanted to say something on the accusations, Kasturi said: “He doesn’t have anything to say. I will do all the talking.”

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Source: TOI-Kol