Kolkata, March 4: The West Bengal Human Rights Commission Monday granted six weeks’ time to the state government for implementing the panel’s recommendations regarding the “wrongful” arrest of a professor for circulating emails mocking Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“Following a request, the commission today (Monday) granted six weeks’ time to the state government to submit an action taken report about the recommendations that we made regarding the wrongful arrests of professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and his neighbour,” said the rights panel’s joint secretary Sujay Kumar Halder.
The commission Aug 13, 2012, had recommended that Mahapatra and his neighbour Subrata Sengupta be given a compensation of Rs.50,000 each for the manner in which they were arrested and detained for a non-cognizable offence.
Reacting to the development, Mahapatra said he was surprised at the response of the state government.
“They sat over the recommendations for six months and now they again have sought more time. I am eagerly waiting for the response,” he said.
The panel had also recommended initiating departmental proceedings against two police officers of East Jadavpur police station for effecting the arrests.
While the commission had given six months’ time to implement the recommendations, the Banerjee government is yet to act on them.
Mahapatra and Sengupta were arrested in April last year for circulating emails mocking Banerjee. While the police action attracted wide spread criticism, Banerjee justified the arrest and went on to say the circulation of the mail was a part of a “conspiracy to eliminate her”.
She even branded the professor a “CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) man”.