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Cops find cadre’s killer in airport staff quarters

Shyamal Mondol, 42, accused of killing CPM activist Biswajit Das on July 9, was picked up from an Airports Authority of India (AAI) apartment, on VIP Road, late on Tuesday.

Additional superintendent of police Ajay Nand said Mondol, on the run after the murder, had taken the apartment on rent for the past three months.

Das was shot dead at Baguiati in July, triggering off a series of protests in the area. His associates had named Mondol as one of the key suspects in the murder, along with seven others.

Investigations revealed that Das was travelling with Pintu, Mondol’s rival, on the day of the murder. Mondol had planned to eliminate Pintu and intercepted the duo on the road. An altercation ensued, in which Mondol’s gun went off and the bullet struck Das, instead of Pintu. Since then, Mondol and his associates, Langra Shankar, Manjit Singh and Anup, had been on the run. Initially, they had fled to other states but returned in August and rented the apartment in the AAI complex.

Police said Mondol is close to a section of North 24-Parganas CPM leaders. “He is into real estate, but has reportedly run into a streak of bad luck,’’ a senior police officer said.

During interrogation, Mondol told the police that he had taken the apartment on a rent of Rs 600. “On Tuesday, we were tipped off that Mondol and his associates would be meeting in the apartment. We stormed the flat and picked up Mondol, who was about to retire for the night. Shankar, Manjit and Anup were, however, not in the apartment,’’ said an officer of Dum Dum police station.

On Wednesday, Mondol was produced in court and remanded in police custody. Dum Dum police said Mondol has confessed that he had murdered Das and another person, called ‘Hathkata Bablu’.

A controversy, meanwhile, is brewing over AAI employees letting out their official flats on rent. Sources said the state police on Wednesday have written a letter to the AAI authorities, over criminals taking refuge in the company flats. Officials of the AAI, however, refused to comment, saying “senior officers are looking into the matter”.

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