EastMojo
www.eastmojo.com
Former minister and deputy opposition leader Badal Choudhury (middle) at NCC police station in Agarta
Former minister and deputy opposition leader Badal Choudhury (middle) at NCC police station in Agarta|EastMojo image
TRIPURA

Tainted Tripura ex-minister demands fruits, night walk in custody

Rs 600-cr PWD scam accused Badal Choudhury’s ’requirements’ like supply of mosambi, use of mobile phones, wooden bed, etc, have allegedly given headaches to cops

Chandan Panday

Chandan Panday

Agartala: He might be in police custody these days, but this high-profile accused in the Rs 600-crore Tripura PWD scam and former Tripura PWD minister Badal Choudhury is yet to realise the ground reality, it is alleged.

Choudhury’s alleged unusual and unrealistic demands, as termed by sources in state police, like supply of fruits like mosambi, allowing use of mobile phones, wooden bed, meeting other people, etc., during police custody have given headaches to police officers on duty. Not only this, Choudhury, who is also the sitting MLA from Hrishyamukh assembly constituency, is asking police to allow him to go for night walks.

Sources in Tripura Police informed EastMojo that the office of sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of New Capital Complex (NCC) police station has been converted into a custodial room where Choudhury is staying with facilities like wooden bed, fans, doctor-nurse services etc.

However, despite his repeated demands like going out of his room, allowing him to get fruits, especially sweet lime (mosambi), mobile phone, etc., during police custody, the authorities concerned in state police have not allowed him to use mobile phones. However, sources informed this correspondent that fruits, etc,are being offered to the former Tripura minister. But he is not allowed to go out of his room and get a mobile phone for making calls or meeting anyone except his wife and counsel, as instructed by the court.

Regarding his alleged unusual demands in police custody, sources further informed here that senior police officers of Tripura Police have already requested the wife of Choudhury to convince him that his demands are not realistic and can’t be fulfilled by the state police.

Allowing the state crime branch to interrogate the former PWD minister in their custody, the special judge of the West Tripura District and Sessions Court had sent Choudhury to four days of police custody on November 11.

Three days after Choudhury has been in police custody at New Capital Complex (NCC) police station for interrogation purposes, reports of Choudhury’s non-cooperative gestures have been disrupting the police from interrogating him to get any lead, said police sources.

The former minister was shifted to NCC police station from Central jail on November 12 after providing all facilities as directed by the court on demand of the counsel in Choudhury.

Earlier on Monday, the court ordered that Choudhury should not be kept inside police lockup during the police remand and interrogation considering his health ground. He should be kept in a separate room having air, light availability, one bed for sleeping, with the provision of drinking water and proper diet with attached toilet. Medical treatment once a day should be provided with full health and security protection during the remand period.

Meanwhile, the Investigation officer of the alleged PWD scam has filed a petition with the court to hand over the responsibility to arrest another accused in the case and former principal secretary YP Singh over to Delhi police.

A team of Tripura police, consisting of one DSP and sub-inspector, is in Delhi since October 17 to trace YP Singh. But but he is allegedly absconding from the day a case was filed against him in Agartala.

Singh is one among the three accused persons booked under the alleged PWD scam amounting to more than Rs 600 crore which was carried by the Left Front government between 2008 and 2009.

The two accused persons, former PWD chief engineer Sunil Bhowmik and PWD minister Choudhury have already been arrested and are under custody.