Ordinary policemen deserve basic amenities: Mahasweta Devi

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

KOLKATA - Magsaysay Award winner Mahasweta Devi Wednesday criticised the West Bengal government for the “injustice” meted out to low-ranking policemen, saying that they deserved basic amenities which, if denied, could lead to a “mutiny”.

“The Marxist-led state government in the last 33 years did not gave anything to the people and the policemen in the city and rural areas,” Mahasweta Devi said while addressing the open session of the annual general meeting of the West Bengal Police Association (WBPA) at Alipore Police Lines here.

She also promised to write a series of articles to highlight the plight of the police personnel in lower ranks.

She asked WBPA general secretary Bijitaswa Routh to provide her details of the grievances of the lower rank police personnel, after Routh alleged that all policemen between constable and deputy superintendent ranks are being deprived of basic amenities in the state.

“I request Routh to give me details of the grievances of the policemen, based on which I will write articles that would be published in Bengali and Hindi newspapers,” Mahasweta Devi said.

“West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee himself looks after the Home (police) department so I want him to ensure that all police personnel get basic minimum amenities,” the Magsaysay Award winning litterateur said.

“The first war of Independence - the Sepoy Mutiny - broke out because of injustice to the sepoys. Every one should remember that injustice to those who protect the people only paves the way for mutiny,” she said.

Ordinary policemen should be given honour, justice and rights that they deserve, she stressed.

The government has to ensure that in every district, a hospital be set up for the treatment of policemen and that their children get school education. “I know police better than any other. Sometime back I got support from police in setting up schools for the tribals.”

Earlier, while addressing the mammoth gathering of policemen, Routh criticised the state government for not giving importance to the demands of policemen.

“Political parties are making policemen the scapegoat. The widows and sons of deceased policemen are serving as domestic helps and hawkers in trains to earn their livelihood as jobs on compassionate ground remain elusive,” he said.

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