Bhutia shocked, humiliated facing arrest warrant
Kolkata, Apr 6 (UNI) National football icon Baichung Bhutia today said it was humiliating to get an arrest warrant for getting back the possession of his own luggage lost in transit while returning from a tournament a couple of years back.
A district judge today issued an arrest warrant against soccer star Baichung Bhutia for failing to appear before the court to identify an alleged thief who stole his luggage in a train. Sadhan Mondal, first judicial magistrate of Howrah, directed the Salt Lake police to produce Bhutia on May 20.
Talking to the media in a hurriedly called press meet at the East Bengal club tent, Bhutia, flumouxed by the news and insulted to say the least, said, ''Its really humiliating to get an arrest warrant for getting back my possession.'' ''I, however, do not have any official communication on it. I came to know about it from the media. What kind of system is this?'' he asked.
''I heard that the luggage had been recovered but might be lying with the police. A few weeks ago an officer came to me carrying the summon issued by the court,'' he said.
''I regretted my inability to turn up on the given date owing to my professional commitment. The police officer asked me to confirm it in writing on the back of the summon letter. I did it. But at that point I did not know it was illegal and this is what I have to face,'' Bhutia regretted.
The national football captain had lost his luggage on Howrah-Chennai Coromandel Express on October 31, 2002, and a case was filed with the Shalimar GRP station.
A person, Harekrishna Ghorui, was arrested on the charge of the theft and Bhutia had been summoned several times for identifying him and to depose in the matter. But as Bhutia had not appeared before the court, a warrant of arrest was issued against him today by the district court.
Bhutia said that the luggage stolen had some important papers that belonged to his wife Madhuri and some other documents very dear to him.
UNI BA TJP/src PDS RAI2146