The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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2 more trapped in Dhantola dragnet

Calcutta, March 12: Criminal Investigation Department (CID) sleuths, accompanied by two informers and personnel from North 24-Parganas police, last night arrested Lodhai Sardar and an associate from Ashoknagar in connection with the Dhantola dacoity and rape case.

“We have been tracking Sardar for the past two weeks. It’s an important development in the case,” deputy inspector-general of police, CID, Raj Kanojia said.

The team stormed a hut where Sardar and his associate, whom police did not want to name for the sake of investigation, were having dinner in the light of a candle. As soon as the sleuths stormed in, the duo blew out the candle and tried to escape. But they were foiled.

After his arrest, Sardar directed the sleuths to a hut where some of the ornaments looted from the bus passengers on February 6 were kept.

With last night’s arrests, police have taken 23 men into custody in connection with the case. Police had rounded up 18 accused within a week of the incident from Dhantola.

In the first week of March, Burdwan police arrested Putu Sardar and two others. Putu has been described a “prime accused’’ in the case. Sardar today identified Putu as an associate and told police that he had raped a victim.

Putu had confessed to rape to the district police but taken back his statement when CID special superintendent Ramphal Pawar interrogated him at Bhavani Bhavan in Calcutta.

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