Kolkata rape case: Officer denies division among police

February 20th, 2012 - 7:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Feb 20 (IANS) A Kolkata Police woman officer, credited in the media with solving a case of an Anglo-Indian woman’s gangrape here early this month, Monday scotched talks of a division within the police ranks and shared the honours with her team.

“Several newspapers have been reporting that I have been working on the case as an individual, going against my organisation. This is absolutely false. I have been successful only because of my team. This is not my individual success,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Damayanti Sen.

Three suspects were arrested Saturday for allegedly raping the 37-year-old in a moving car Feb 6.

Sen, with Joint Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) Jawed Shamim, rushed to the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings Monday to “clarify” her position to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“The investigation is still on and we are yet to arrest more accused persons. But more than the probe, my personal life has become important for the media which I feel very disturbed about. I wanted to clarify this to the CM (Banerjee). So I came here, met her and clarified,” Sen said.

A newspaper, while crediting her with solving the case, had described how she juggled between being a wife, a mother and an adept police officer.

Sen, who joined the Indian Police Service in 1996 and became the first woman officer to head the detective department of Kolkata Police, said she was “extremely disturbed” by media reports about her personal life.

“I have been working with my organisation since long and all my decisions have been collective. The case has nothing to do with me as an individual,” said Sen, referring to reports on differences within police ranks.

She also said that media reports were hampering investigation into the case.

A controversy arose after police chief R.K. Pachnanda, while briefing the media Thursday on the complaint of the rape victim, termed the entire issue as a campaign to malign police and the government.

Hours before Pachnanda’s media meet, Banerjee described the matter as “cooked up” and said it was an attempt to malign the government.

Sen, who earlier claimed that there were some “technical discrepancies” in the victim’s allegation, Friday said: “Something must have occurred in the early hours of Feb 6 and police are thoroughly investigating all aspects.”

On Saturday, after police arrested three people in the case, Sen replied in the affirmative when asked whether the victim had been “raped”.

Some newspapers and television channels claimed that Sen worked almost without a break for three days, with assistance from Shamim, to solve the case.

Shamim also said there was no groupism in police. “Let me tell you there is no such groupism. Kolkata Police work like a family and the decisions are taken collectively,” he said.

The victim, a mother of two, had complained that she was raped at gunpoint Feb 6 inside a moving car. She lodged the complaint Feb 9.

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