The city police picked up Chikna Raju, a notorious kidnapper and extortionist, and five of his accomplices from the Beniapukur area on Saturday. A cache of arms and ammunition was also recovered from them.
“Chikna was the most wanted criminal on our list after Gabbar. The detective department had arrested him two years ago. But after getting bail, he was back to a life of crime. Several cases, including extortion and kidnapping, are pending against Chikna. We are checking if he is also involved in any murder case,” said Sanjoy Mukherjee, deputy commissioner, eastern suburban division.
According to Mukherjee, the Beniapukur police had received a tip-off that Chikna and his five accomplices would assemble on Darga Road in the afternoon to commit a dacoity.
“The gang was spotted around 3 pm and a team of plainclothesmen from Beniapukur police station team rounded them up,” he said.
Three country-made firearms, 16 rounds of ammunition — including an AK-47 cartridge — three daggers and eight bombs were recovered.
“We were surprised to find the AK-47 cartridge. We suspect the ammunition was brought from another state,” Mukherjee added.
The other five gangsters were identified as Iqbal Ahmed, Fakre Alam, Chotta Raja, Dilip Shau and Kalo Baidya.
Chotta Raja had managed to escape from the custody of the Beniapukur police two months ago. He raided a local promoter’s office recently and opened fire.
Seven arrest warrants have been issued for Chikna at the Entally police station.
“The Jorasanko, Narkeldanga, Tiljala and Kasba police are also looking for him. Several raids were conducted in the past two years, but each time he managed to give us the slip,” said an official of the Beniapukur police station.
Sources said Chikna used to operate in north Calcutta. Later, he shifted base to the Beniapukur-Entally area.
“During sustained raids, the gang took shelter in the Kasba-Tiljala belt and started extorting local businessmen. Today’s arrest indicates that they were trying to gain a foothold in the city once again,” added Mukherjee.
Police are now trying to trace the factories from where the gang had collected the firearms. “We are interrogating them to get more details about the gang. The detective department has also been informed of the arrests as the sleuths, too, were looking for these men,” added Mukherjee.