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To protect and to serve: Stolen mutton

  • Published at 04:59 pm July 3rd, 2018
  • Last updated at 05:02 pm July 3rd, 2018
Stock photo of a black Bengal goat | Bigstock

Three police officers from Gopalganj are accused of stealing a goat and then eating it

Police have a reputation, well notoriety would be the apt term here, of behaving in a manner most uncivil.

There have been all sorts of allegations against police since the British used the police force to subjugate dissidents – corruption, pilfering, sexual assault, and racketeering, among numerous other offenses. 

The latest is one for the ages. We cannot identify the frequency, but it is the first time we have spotted an incident where the police stand accused of appropriating individual property and making a meal of said property.

In the village of Pirarbari in Kotalipara, Gopalganj, Ruhidas Haldar had tied his goat to a tree outside his house on the night of June 2. A late night police patrol comprising of Sub-Inspector Ali Akbar, Constables Turab Ali and Sohel, all attached to the Bhangarhat Naval Investigation Centre, stumbled upon the goat and picked it up on their Mahindra Alfa three-wheeler auto-rickshaw.

Please, take your time to process the aforementioned sentence. Also, picture it, pretty please.

As day broke, Ruhidas looked for his goat. His wife joined him in the search, futile as it was. Little did they know that the patrol team had taken the goat to the Bhangarhat police outpost where it was slaughtered, cooked, and served.

On June 15, the night watchmen at the village admitted they witnessed the police take the goat. News of the scandal leaking would have been devastating, so the police summoned Ruhidas and his wife to the Bhangarhat outpost. Given the notoriety of the police in similar matters, the goat-bereft Ruhidas went to the police with around 10 other people, including the president of the bazaar committee. Sub-Inspector Ali Akbar showed him a goat and stressed it belonged to Ruhidas, demanding he take it. That could have been the end of it, had Ruhidas acceded, but he was made of sterner stuff, and refused to take a strange goat back to his home.

The police forced Nitish Haldar (no relation), the president of the bazaar committee. The police also claimed the night watchmen stole the goat, and fined them Tk4,000. The police handed over the fined money to Ruhidas. But Ruhidas still refused to play ball.

Nitish Haldar admitted to the veracity of the incident and said the dispute was resolved since Ruhidas was paid off. He said the goat the police tried to give Ruhidas was still in his care.

The police however, are vehemently denying the accusations.

The hilarious defense of SI Ali Akbar is: “We did pick up a goat that night. Then we made an announcement that we found a goat late at night. When we learned that Ruhidas was the owner, we asked him to come in and handed over the goat back to him with the bazaar committee present. We did not slaughter and eat the goat.”

You cannot make this stuff up.