Top cop shown the door

A

A section of top TMC leadership along with Urban Development Minister Firhad reportedly did not like the way two FIRs were lodged after the murder incident. One of these charged Iqbal with rioting, attempt to murder and carrying firearms ó all non-bailable sections. Firhad was time and again seen defending Iqbal, saying that the councillor was in no way involved in the crime. But the police had other versions.

Top police sources said Pachnanda had little option but to register a case against Iqbal as he was under tremendous pressure from within the force to take appropriate steps to book the culprits who were caught on camera. Iqbal was seen actively engaging his cadres during the violence. Even the alleged killer was seen next to him in one clip. Had Pachnanda compromised by putting a protective cover on Iqbal and his men, there would have been serious repercussions in the force, top police officers said.

In fact, sparks flew soon after the murder of Choudhury at the Body Guard Lines and the Special Branch headquarters, where the rank and file questioned why contingents were sent to the college union election without arms when there were specific intelligence inputs about violence. As a result of the pressure from within, Kolkata Police headquarters was somewhat forced to carry out immediate raids in Garden Reach in search of Iqbal and Mokhtar from Wednesday night. At the Body Guard Lines in Alipore, armed forces members were close to revolt on Wednesday afternoon and heckled a number of senior officers.

The government was also unhappy about the near absence of senior police officers at the site of the murder on Tuesday. Pachnanda reportedly reached the spot nearly five hours after the incident, raising questions in the force as well as in the government about the delayed response.

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