13 06 2008

Disabled youth ‘assaulted’ at employment exchange

Debdutta Ghosh

expressindia.com

June 13, 2008

http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Disabled-youth-assaulted-at-employment-exchange/322240/

Kolkata, June 12 A disabled youth and his brother were manhandled by employees of employment exchange and later a police complaint was registered against them alleging that they had vandalised the office. All this happened when he visited the exchange to enquire the status of his possible employment.

Thirty eight-year-old Tapas Ghosh cannot use his right hand. The handicapped card issued to him by the state government confirms 70 per cent disability. A resident of Sulaty village in Howrah, he had enrolled himself with the employment exchange in 1989, but his name has never been recommended by the exchange. His ordeal began when he started doing rounds of the office. “The employees of the exchange always misbehaved with me,” said Tapas.

On May 26, his brother Probir accompanied him to the exchange. The staff could not locate his card even after making them wait for four hours. Probir then approached the exchange officer, A K Roy.

“The officer and the staff abused us. One of them broke my spectacles,” said Probir Ghosh.

After the incident, both of them went to the Howrah police station to file a complaint. “We were mocked at by the policemen. One of them called up Roy and told him that we were at the police station,” said Probir. After more than two hours, they were asked to not file a complaint. The two brothers returned home devastated.

Worse, a registered letter from the exchange officer was delivered to Tapas on June 4. “The exchange officer alleged that my brother had vandalised the office and beat up the employees. The letter said that a complaint has been registered with the SP, labour department and local police,” Tapas said. They should come to the exchange to settle the issue or face the consequences, stated the letter.

AK Roy refused to comment on the matter. The officer-in-charge of the Howrah police station said he could not remember the incident. The brothers have now sought the help of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR).

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