"Earlier in May, Bengali filmmaker Suman Mukhopadhyay - known for being vocal against the state government - was questioned for nearly 23 hours by police in connection with the alleged suicide bid by his actress-friend Swastika Mukherjee. He faced another set of grilling recently."
Kolkata, July 17 - An eminent economist, known for his trenchant criticism of West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee regime, has alleged police harassment after officials came calling at his house claiming his car was involved in a crime.

Debasish Sarkar, a professor at the government-run Jhargram Raj College in West Midnapore district, Thursday met city police Joint Commissioner Rajiv Mishra and complained that he was needlessly harassed by police.

A known face on TV debates, Sarkar said police Wednesday night posed him a volley of questions claiming that four-five people travelling in his car were allegedly involved in a crime at Khidirpur earlier in the day.

I don't have a driver and my car was nowhere near Khidirpur yesterday (Wednesday). I had gone to the airport to drop my wife and daughter and at the time of the alleged offence, in all probability, my car was either at my home or near it, Sarkar said.

He said Mishra told him that a truck driver whose money and mobile phone were snatched by some miscreants, had given police Sarkar's car number saying the vehicle had sped away from the area soon after.

Earlier in 2012, the state education department had served Sarkar a notice seeking explanation about his criticism of the state government on local TV channels.

The latest harassment bid against critics of the ruling Trinamool Congress has attracted condemnation from activists and opponents.

There is an attempt to cheat and make a fool of people in our state. Those in power are now afraid. So they want to kill and harass the protesters. This is the nature of democracy in our state now, educationist and activist Miratun Nahar said.

Congress leader Arunava Ghosh too minced no words to condemn the Banerjee regime's attempt to stifle the voice of opposition and protest.

Police have crossed all records of loyalty. They do everything they are asked to do by the ruling Trinamool Congress, he said.

Earlier in May, Bengali filmmaker Suman Mukhopadhyay - known for being vocal against the state government - was questioned for nearly 23 hours by police in connection with the alleged suicide bid by his actress-friend Swastika Mukherjee. He faced another set of grilling recently.

In the past, Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra was arrested for circulating emails mocking the Trinamool supremo, while marginal farmer Shiladitya Chowdhury was labelled a Maoist and thrown behind bars for publicly questioning the chief minister about rising fertiliser prices.


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