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Slain cop’s wife alleges lack of security infrastructure

Kolkata, Feb 26 (IANS) The wife of slain West Bengal police officer Rabi Lochan Mitra Friday alleged that lack of security infrastructure at police stations in Maoist-affected belts caused the death of her husband who was killed in a gun battle with the leftwing guerrillas.

Mitra was posted as the officer-in-charge of Bankura’s Sarenga police station.

‘Everybody in the police force used to say that my husband was a directory of the Maoists in the region. Despite repeated appeals he was not transferred to other police stations. He was posted at Maoist-affected Sarenga for three years at a stretch.

‘The security infrastructure for police personnel posted at Maoist-affected Sarenga police station was also not adequate,’ Sudipta, wife of Mitra, said.

She claimed that there was night vision equipment available with Sarenga police station but it did not work without moonlight.

‘My husband had told about this to higher authorities. But they did not pay any heed to him,’ she alleged.

Sudipta also said that Mitra was also not keeping well these days due to some cardiac ailment that he had developed while he was posted at Lalgarh police station — another Maoist-hit pocket of West Midnapore district.

According to police sources, a group of heavily-armed Maoists abducted and shot Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Tarashankar Patra Wednesday night. When Mitra led his men in search of the Maoists, they opened fire, triggering a gun battle.

Mitra was hit on the chest and died instantly. A Maoist was also killed while another was injured at the encounter.

The Maoists are active in West Bengal’s Bankura, West Midnapore and Purulia districts.

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