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Bengal to take action against Army personnel

Kolkata, January 2
The West Bengal Government today decided to take action according to the law against Army officers and personnel who allegedly ransacked a police station and assaulted policemen in the heart of the city.

"We want to proceed as per law against officers and personnel of the 3 Madras Regiment who were involved in the incident," Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb told reporters today.

"We have received a report from the Kolkata Police. On its basis, we have told the defence ministry that we need its cooperation," he said.

Brandishing automatic weapons, a group of soldiers in uniform yesterday vandalised the Park Street police station, beat up and injured 11 policemen and forcibly freed a Major and a Captain who were arrested for allegedly misbehaving with a woman while drunk on New Year's eve.

Deb, who reviewed the situation at a meeting with Home Secretary P.R Roy and police chief A.K Bohra, said the Army would also institute departmental proceedings against those involved.

Roy said the police had registered two cases in connection with the incident.

The police did not get into a confrontation with the rampaging soldiers to avoid bloodshed, Deb said. Describing the incident as "isolated", he said, "We still hold the Army in high esteem." Deb said the state government would not meet any official of the Army's Eastern Command here because the personnel and officers involved in the incident did not belong to it.

The Eastern Command has instituted a court of inquiry that started functioning yesterday. PTI

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