Prisoner of foul fantasy
Cops face trader flak for murder
Monsoon signals weekend retreat
Cops face trader flak for murder
Housewife hangs herself
Cadre shelter for killers in fishery feud
Doctor spreads prescription panic
Jail custody for detaining minor
Eight-month delay in MA results
JMM mounts media blitz

 
 
PRISONER OF FOUL FANTASY 
 
 
BY SOUMYADIPTA BANERJEE
 
Calcutta, Oct.12: 
Reality has caught up with Tanmoy Ghatak, raised on a diet of action-packed Hindi films.

Eighteen-year-old Tanmoy was charged with “attempt at dacoity” and “illegal possession of arms” and remanded in jail custody after his bail petition was rejected on Thursday. The only son of a senior bank officer and once a bright student, Tanmoy was arrested on Wednesday night.

His friends, who knew him as Biley, said he loves watching Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan bash up the baddies. He also freaks out on Gabbar Singh. But there’s no doubting who his ‘hero’ is: Charles Sobhraj. Tanmoy idolises the serial bikini-killer.

“I had seen boys moving around with a large number of girls being adored and hero-worshipped. I, too, wanted to be a hero,’’ said the 18-year-old, at the Government Railway Police station at Belur.

Teachers recall how Tanmoy was often hauled up for eve-teasing. “He would invariably whistle at girls passing by. Not for nothing was he known as the ‘Romeo of Howrah’,’’ observed one.

One of his classteachers at a renowned Howrah school describes Tanmoy as a “daredevil,” who was good in studies but, “at the same time, very prone to bad influence’’.

Tanmoy was a “pampered child”, said an acquaintance of the family. The Ghataks live in the crime-infested Patuapara area of Liluah.

He was introduced to the world of crime in a tiny restaurant in Howrah, where he had gone with a girl and two other friends. This was in the summer of 1997, and Tanmoy was only 15 years old.

“Three drunken men teased his girlfriend and she complained to him. Biley, a hot-headed emotional guy, got up and started bashing them up,” said an acquaintance who did not want to be named.

Tanmoy’s violent reaction was spotted by a crimelord of Howrah, Tarak Sardar, who was sitting with his men in the same restaurant. Tarak followed Tanmoy out of the restaurant and asked him to join his gang. Tanmoy refused, but his friend Ashis Dey agreed to go along with the crimelord. But Tarak had his sights set on Tanmoy and put Ashis on the job of roping in the firebrand.

Tanmoy had no intention of joining the underworld. But a not-so-simple twist of fate awaited the youth. In October 1997, Ashis was caught in the crossfire between two groups and arrested.

In an effort to prove his innocence, Ashis told the police he was on his way to Tanmoy’s house. This prompted the police to pick up the 15-year-old for interrogation.

That was the turning point. Tanmoy’s girlfriend, who had urged him to sever ties with Ashis and the gang, distanced himself from the youth. His other girlfriends, too, drifted away.

Dejected and frustrated, Tanmoy took the plunge. “I decided to become the king of Howrah. I told myself, if the girls don’t come to me, I’ll get them,’’ he recalls.

The Tarak Sardar vs Uttam Chetri gang war was hot in Howrah and Tanmoy soon found himself in the thick of things.

According to police records, it was he who killed Chetri. On October 28, 1997, Tarak and Tanmoy, along with three other associates, were arrested for Chetri’s murder. Tanmoy was released on bail after three months. The teenager quickly became the terror of Howrah. So much so that traders and local residents petitioned the Liluah police several times, urging them to arrest him.

Officers of the Liluah police station were ordered to track him down, but Tanmoy managed to elude them every time they went after him. Sources said Tanmoy’s arrest can be traced to his fallout with Tarak over some extortion money. Tanmoy, who now heads his own gang, accused his one-time mentor, Tarak, of “betrayal”.

“I will finish him once I am out of jail,’’ the teenager swore on Thursday. Reality hasn’t quite caught up with him yet.    


 
 
COPS FACE TRADER FLAK FOR MURDER 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Oct.12: 
The murder of trader Kishor Hirawat, and the way it was handled by the city police, has sparked outrage in the business community. Several city-based businessman have blasted the “police botch-up” and demanded action against the “guilty officers”.

Panic-stricken businessman of central and south Calcutta have decided to petition deputy chief minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya and other senior CPM leaders. “Many Sukhdevs and Vickys are at large as the police are unable to file chargesheets against them, enabling them to obtain bail easily,’’ said a south Calcutta businessman.

“Sukhdev and his associates operate a network of terror in Behala, Jadavpur, Tollygunge and parts of central Calcutta. Police investigation into the kidnapping, and other cases that the gang are involved in, has definitely been slipshod,’’ said a central Calcutta trader with business interests in Behala and Jadavpur areas.

The Hirawat family, while pinning the blame of Kishor’s death on the police, is undecided on a course of action. “All the stories the police are now making up about Kishor’s links with various women are all false. Do the police have any official record of Kishor supplying women to hotels and guest houses? Was any attempt ever made to arrest him on charges of immoral trafficking?’’ demanded father Purushottum Hirawat.

Deputy commissioner of police, central, Raj Kanojia, confirmed on Thursday that Kishor had links with a woman of Thakurpukur. “This woman also has links with Sukhdev and Vicky. We have information that there was a dispute over the woman, which played a part in Kishor’s murder,’’ Kanojia added.

A relative said Kishor was kidnapped on September 25 and the family got in touch with the police immediately after they received the ransom demand. “But the police initially did not register a case, as the kidnappers had threatened to kill Kishor if we informed the police,” he added.

In an important breakthrough, however, the police managed to crack the cellphone number (98300-93856) of Nigel Ekra, alias Vicky, on Thursday. The 26-year-old associate of arrested mastermind Sukhdev Singh escaped the police dragnet on October 9 after a trap had been laid for the kidnappers of Kishor Hirawat. The cellphone number has enabled the investigators to trace Vicky’s movements over the past few days.

Detectives said they had got in touch with the cellphone company with a request for a computer printout of all ‘dialled’ or ‘received’ numbers on Vicky’s mobile.

Police officers investigating the case said Vicky’s cellphone number was available with a section of the detectives even before Hirawat was kidnapped. Sources in the anti-rowdy section confirmed that deputy commissioner of police, special, Sanjoy Mukherjee, had been using Vicky’s help to gain information about criminal activities in Behala and Jadavpur. “But his ploy to ask Vicky to release Kishor backfired as the kidnappers probably panicked and killed him,’’ a detective said.

Sources said Vicky shifted base from Bhowanipore to New Alipore to Alipore to Chetla between October 8 and 9. He also dropped in at friend Biki’s flat in Ekbalpur for a while.

Police officers on the case said the breakthrough will enable them to track down other associates of Sukhdev like Tubai, alias Mama, Gutke and Nepali Babu, as they are in constant touch with Vicky over his cellphone.    


 
 
MONSOON SIGNALS WEEKEND RETREAT 
 
 
BY OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Oct.12: 
The south-west monsoon is all set to bid adieu to Calcutta by this weekend, the weatherman said on Thursday.

The persisting rains are due to a weak upper-air cyclonic circulation over Gangetic West Bengal and the adjoining north Orissa, extending up to a km above sea level over the past three days.

“Its influence has caused isolated light to moderate rain in Calcutta and the districts. The wind direction will change within a couple of days and the monsoon will withdraw from Bengal and other eastern and northeastern states. It has already withdrawn from Bihar,” said R.N. Goldar, director of Alipore met office.

The monsoon generally exits by October 8. But this year, its departure was delayed. Goldar has predicted isolated light rain in some areas of the city during the next couple of days.

But met officials are keeping their attention fixed on the climatic changes in the south Bay of Bengal, off the Tamil Nadu coast and the Andaman Sea, where low pressure systems are frequently formed in October and November.

“We are extremely vulnerable to cyclones during this period. Don’t you remember the supercyclone that hit the Orissa coast on October 29 last year? It had missed Calcutta narrowly,” a senior official said.

From next week, the Met office expects the dry north-west wind to blow from Rajasthan, the adjoining areas of Pakistan, Punjab and Haryana. Usually, a high-pressure zone develops over these places and the wind rushes towards West Bengal through Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. “When the wind from the north-west begins to blow, one can feel the relatively less-humid air. The skin gets drier and winter approaches slowly,” a senior met official said.    


 
 
COPS FACE TRADER FLAK FOR MURDER 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Oct.12: 
The murder of trader Kishor Hirawat, and the way it was handled by the city police, has sparked outrage in the business community. Several city-based businessman have blasted the “police botch-up” and demanded action against the “guilty officers”.

Panic-stricken businessman of central and south Calcutta have decided to petition deputy chief minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya and other senior CPM leaders. “Many Sukhdevs and Vickys are at large as the police are unable to file chargesheets against them, enabling them to obtain bail easily,’’ said a south Calcutta businessman.

“Sukhdev and his associates operate a network of terror in Behala, Jadavpur, Tollygunge and parts of central Calcutta. Police investigation into the kidnapping, and other cases that the gang are involved in, has definitely been slipshod,’’ said a central Calcutta trader with business interests in Behala and Jadavpur areas.

The Hirawat family, while pinning the blame of Kishor’s death on the police, is undecided on a course of action. “All the stories the police are now making up about Kishor’s links with various women are all false. Do the police have any official record of Kishor supplying women to hotels and guest houses? Was any attempt ever made to arrest him on charges of immoral trafficking?’’ demanded father Purushottum Hirawat.

Deputy commissioner of police, central, Raj Kanojia, confirmed on Thursday that Kishor had links with a woman of Thakurpukur. “This woman also has links with Sukhdev and Vicky. We have information that there was a dispute over the woman, which played a part in Kishor’s murder,’’ Kanojia added.

A relative said Kishor was kidnapped on September 25 and the family got in touch with the police immediately after they received the ransom demand. “But the police initially did not register a case, as the kidnappers had threatened to kill Kishor if we informed the police,” he added.

In an important breakthrough, however, the police managed to crack the cellphone number (98300-93856) of Nigel Ekra, alias Vicky, on Thursday. The 26-year-old associate of arrested mastermind Sukhdev Singh escaped the police dragnet on October 9 after a trap had been laid for the kidnappers of Kishor Hirawat. The cellphone number has enabled the investigators to trace Vicky’s movements over the past few days.

Detectives said they had got in touch with the cellphone company with a request for a computer printout of all ‘dialled’ or ‘received’ numbers on Vicky’s mobile.

Police officers investigating the case said Vicky’s cellphone number was available with a section of the detectives even before Hirawat was kidnapped. Sources in the anti-rowdy section confirmed that deputy commissioner of police, special, Sanjoy Mukherjee, had been using Vicky’s help to gain information about criminal activities in Behala and Jadavpur. “But his ploy to ask Vicky to release Kishor backfired as the kidnappers probably panicked and killed him,’’ a detective said.

Sources said Vicky shifted base from Bhowanipore to New Alipore to Alipore to Chetla between October 8 and 9. He also dropped in at friend Biki’s flat in Ekbalpur for a while.

Police officers on the case said the breakthrough will enable them to track down other associates of Sukhdev like Tubai, alias Mama, Gutke and Nepali Babu, as they are in constant touch with Vicky over his cellphone.    


 
 
HOUSEWIFE HANGS HERSELF 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Oct.12: 
Unable to bear the torture of her in-laws, a 24-year-old housewife, Deepika Roy, allegedly hanged herself at her Botanical Garden Lane residence in Howrah on Thursday morning. Eight persons, including Deepika’s husband, Tirthankar, have been arrested in this connection. Deepika, a resident of Dum Dum, was married in July this year.

Residents of Botanical Garden Lane told sleuths that Deepika’s in-laws constantly harassed her, demanding more dowry from her parents so that Tirthankar could set up a business. They said one of Deepika’s brothers had even taken an office loan of Rs 50,000 to meet her in-laws’ demands. “There is definitely some foul play in this case,” said Howrah superintendent of police, Surajit Kar Purakayastha.    


 
 
CADRE SHELTER FOR KILLERS IN FISHERY FEUD 
 
 
BY BARUN GHOSH
 
Calcutta, Oct.12: 
Despite repeated raids, at least six persons, accused of killing CPM’s Dhapa branch committee secretary Kalipada Kazi on Tuesday, eluded arrest because they were being shielded by local CPM cadres.

The police, who have so far managed to nab only four of the accused, have practically given up the search in the villages around the crime-infested Dhapa fisheries where the CPM lays down the law. “We have information that Ratan Mondal and Manik Mondal, who have masterminded Kazi’s killing, are being protected by local CPM leaders,” said an officer of Tiljala police station. “This is because of rivalry within the local party unit,” he added.

The officer-in-charge of Tiljala police station, J.K. Mukherjee, denied comment, but declared that the search would continue. Frustrated at the turn of events, director general of police, Dipak Sanyal, on Thursday transferred the case from the local police to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

Kazi’s body was found floating in a bheri early on Wednesday morning. The CPM leader’s murder, according to police, is a sequel to the death of Netai Mondal, a CPM-backed crimelord in the Dhapa area, on Monday night. Mondal, who had spent Monday evening drinking with Kazi and his associates, was suspected to have been poisoned to death. However, the police claimed during the day that Netai died following a heart attack on his way to hospital.

The two deaths have come as a major embarrassment to the ruling CPM as they happened some months after the murder of Gurupada Bagchi, CPM local committee secretary of adjoining Kasba. Preliminary investigation reveals that while Bagchi fell victim to the nexus between party members and influential promoters in the Bypass area, Kazi’s murder was the fallout of “territorial disputes” for control of the cash-rich Dhapa-Chowbhaga fisheries among local CPM units.

The four accused, arrested on Wednesday, were produced before a special court at Alipore during the day and remanded to jail custody for a fortnight.

In another development, the local CPM leadership which has begun a probe on its own, admitted during the day that Netai Mondal prospered as a crimelord in the Dhapa area because of his proximity to local CPM leaders. Dhapa local committee secretary of the CPM, Sannyasi Dolui, admitted that Netai was involved in various criminal activities in the Dhapa area, exploiting his relations with party leaders. “He was a party sympathiser but it is our mistake to overlook his crime,” Dolui added.

However, dissidents in the local party unit said Dolui was aware of the extent to which criminals had infiltrated the party’s rank and file in the area but chose not to react “in self-interest.”

District secretary Samir Putatunda said efforts were on to purge the organisation of unwanted elements. He warned that stern action would be taken if partymen patronised anti-socials. “Criminalisation of the local party unit has clearly taken place,” he said. “But it is now time to cleanse the entire local party apparatus.”    


 
 
DOCTOR SPREADS PRESCRIPTION PANIC 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Oct.12: 
A former student of the National Medical College went berserk on Wednesday night after sneaking into the hospital and prescribing wrong medicine to patients.

Gautam Kumar Mukherjee, claiming to be a physician, was later arrested by officers of the Beniapukur police station. But, he was let off after the emergency medical officer on duty refused to lodge a complaint against him.

Police sources said Mukherjee had once sneaked into Alipore Central Jail and attempted to beat up jail superintendent Ramapada Bhattacharya.

Bhattacharya, when contacted by The Telegraph on Thursday evening, said Mukherjee had even misbehaved with some warders. He said a complaint had been registered against Mukherjee with the Alipore police station.

According to hospital sources, Mukherjee visits the National Medical College regularly to check whether the patients are being properly treated or not.

Mukherjee made his customary visit to the hospital on Wednesday night. When he found an eight-year-old, Md. Wajid Ali, groaning in pain, he immediately took out a writing pad and prescribed an analgesic injection for him.

But when the doctor on duty refused to administer the drug to the child, an altercation broke out between him and the emergency medical officer (EMO) on duty, Ashok Bhattacharya.

As things took an ugly turn, the hospital authorities sought the help of the nearby police outpost. “He is a constant source of trouble for us as he frequently visits the hospital and prescribes medicines to patients, which is totally illegal,” said Asit Baran Guha, deputy superintendent of the hospital.

“As he is a former student, nobody stops him from entering the hospital”, Guha added, clearly disturbed by the antics of the ‘doctor’. Some hospital employees said Mukherjee is regarded by many as mentally unstable.

According to a doctor who didn’t wish to be named, Mukherjee has also filed a case against the hospital authorities at the Sealdah Court, accusing them of neglecting their patients.    


 
 
JAIL CUSTODY FOR DETAINING MINOR 
 
 
BY OUR LEGAL REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Oct.12: 
Moytree Banerjee, her son Atin and daughter Monomita, who illegaly detained a minor girl, Mou Mandal, at their New Alipore residence for three days during the Pujas, surrendered at the local police station on Thursday and were later remanded in jail custody for seven days by a special sub divisional judicial magistrate at Alipore court.

South Calcutta BJP activists held a rally on the court campus, demanding exemplary punishment for the accused. The police had to disperse the mob. As reported earlier in The Telegraph, 10-year-old Mou was locked in by her employers, who proceeded on a 10- day holiday to Bangalore on October 3. Mou, almost unconcious, was rescued by New Alipore police on October 6.

She was produced before the sub-divisional judicial magistrate, Alipore, by the police the same day and a case under Section 342 of IPC was booked against her employers for illegal detention. Police said the accused returned to Calcutta a day before schedule and surrendered before the police.

On Thursday, counsel for the accused told the court that as Section 342 was a bailable offence, their clients should be released on personal bond. The public prosecutor opposed the move and informed the court that the girl could have died in the locked flat, as there had not been sufficient food or water for her.    


 
 
EIGHT-MONTH DELAY IN MA RESULTS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Oct.12: 
Calcutta University’s failure to publish MA journalism results eight months after the examinations has sparked resentment among students of the department.

University officials blamed the “excessive delay” on some examiners, who have failed to complete correction of the answerscripts on time. The students are upset at the delay, as they are facing difficulty in getting jobs without their results in hand.

“The examinations were held in February this year. How long are we supposed to wait for the results?” asked an anguished examinee, on condition of anonymity.

Tapati Basu, head of CU’s journalism department, said the university was sympathetic towards the students’ grievances.

“We understand the students’ problems. But many factors have to be taken into consideration for timely publication of results. We are trying to publish the results as early as possible,” she said.

University sources said the authorities failed to publish this year’s results since some external examiners had not submitted the answerscripts to the university within the stipulated deadline.

The answerscripts of MA journalism are examined twice — by an internal examiner and then by an external one. The sources said the external examiners are appointed from institutions in other states. This year, some of them had not submitted the answerscripts in time.

Basu said even though the process needed a lot of time, the university is persisting with the two-fold examination of scripts to ensure unbiased evaluation.

The students came down heavily on the authorities for their “callousness”. “We expect the university to take more care in dealing with the publication of postgraduate results of a professional course like journalism,”

The students alleged that they had requested the authorities several times to take proper measures to expedite the process of publication of results. But nothing had been done, they said.

The students pointed out that most journalism institutes in other states have already published the results of their postgraduate courses. As a result, students passing out from those institutions had an advantage while applying for jobs, they alleged.

They threatened to launch a stir if the results are not published by October-end.    


 
 
JMM MOUNTS MEDIA BLITZ 
 
 
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
 
Ranchi, Oct. 12: 
Stung by today’s CBI special court verdict in the 1993 JMM payoff case, the party launched a virtual media blitz to ensure minimum damage to Shibu Soren’s prospects in a hasty damage control exercise.

The court directed the CBI to lodge FIRs against JMM chief Shibu Soren, former vice-president Suraj Mandal and central party spokesman Simon Marandi for allegedly accepting bribes to save the Narasimha Rao government in 1993.

JMM spokesman Shailendra Bhattacharya said the decision would entail reopening of all the previous cases. According to him, this contradicted an earlier Supreme Court judgment, which exonerated all the JMM leaders on the grounds that decisions taken inside Parliament could not be challenged in court. He said the accused leaders would appeal in a higher court within the prescribed time limit against today’s judgment.

Bhattacharya added that barring expelled JMM secretary Shailendra Mahato, who had turned approver in the case, all the three remaining JMM leaders had pleaded innocence. They claimed that the money deposited by them at the Naorori road branch of the Punjab National Bank was a party fund.

Bhattacharya reiterated that today’s judgment would have no bearing either on Shibu Soren’s claim to the chief minister’s post or on the mega rally slated for October 22.

New ally: Independent legislator from Bokaro, Samresh Singh today demanded that an all-party interim government headed by Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren be installed in the new state for a year.

Singh said he would oppose any move to make BJP MP and party national vice-president Karia Munda the first chief minister of the new state. Samresh Singh had quit the BJP after being denied a party ticket from Bokaro in the 1990 Assembly polls.    

 

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